Pa. Turnpike Commission already en route to reform
To the editor: As the new CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, I find there is no defense for the conduct that was alleged in the actions taken by the Office of Attorney General, which threaten the public's trust in our agency.
I want to assure your readers that this conduct does not reflect the dedication of the hard-working men and women who work to keep our road open and safe for the 500,000 motorists who rely on our system every day.
We are acting to take every step possible to ensure that such conduct will not occur in the future.
Our customers, our employees and our business partners deserve no less.
In the past two years, we launched an aggressive effort to change the way we do business. We instituted a more rigorous, transparent process for awarding contracts to ensure that only the most-qualified firms are considered. We created an Office of Compliance to ensure that employee actions remain above reproach at every level. We formed a Diversity and Inclusion Department to attract a more diverse pool of business partners to bid on our projects.
Our reform efforts continue and have intensified as a result of the OAG's report. Earlier this week, we began a review of active professional-services contracts awarded during the timeframe in question. We are forming an advisory group to review and critique current procurement policies and procedures. These are just two of four measures I introduced.
On folding the Turnpike into PennDOT: These organizations are working closer today than at any point in our history. We launched a collaborative effort known as "Mapping the Future" in July 2011 to enhance cooperation and increase efficiency. We are sharing expenses in areas like training and facilities design and are exploring alliances to cut costs in other areas.
Rest assured, I understand the significant challenges that lie ahead for this organization, but I have a team in place that's equipped to confront them head on. The Turnpike Commission has made great strides the past two years; but all involved realize that we are just getting started.
Mark P. Compton
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission