Jay Inslee claimed that when the State Senate fired former Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson earlier this year, it was for partisan reasons. Well, given a new audit report that examined the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) under Peterson’s “leadership,” Inslee may want to take back his accusations.
The State Auditor’s office just released a performance audit that solidifies WSDOT as our state’s most incompetent agency. As KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz put it, the audit is “shocking in how it displays the ineptitude of WSDOT staffers.”
Here are some of the most disturbing parts of the report… all of which WDOT officials brush off as if it was nothing:
- The license plate image capture system for tolling missed around 400,000 automatic toll transactions, resulting in drivers being billed with fees they don’t owe. WSDOT claimed it wasn’t a problem. However, revealing stunning incompetency, the audit shows the problem is mostly the result of “bad camera aim.”
- WSDOT failed to enforce information security standards with the toll system vendor. The failure places private billing information at risk. Apparently, the toll system vendor only completed an independent audit required by the state after the state auditor completed its review.
- A whopping 175,800 toll bills and notices have gone to wrong addresses because the toll system can’t verify billing information people enter. Given WSDOT’s reliance of manual reports, one would think that it would follow recommendations to implement “robust collection activities” before billing people for late fees. But, you’d be wrong. WSDOT only started doing that after public uproar.
The State Senate fired Peterson because of the stunning levels of utter incompetency at her agency, which Jay Inslee should have never put her in charge of to begin with. Unfortunately, as long as Olympia continues to be controlled by Democrats like Inslee, we aren’t holding our breath for WSDOT’s future leadership prospects.