By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A scathing report from the state auditor warns Caltrans’ spending habits are inviting “waste, fraud and abuse” of taxpayer dollars.

That rough ride on your way to work on uneven, potholed roadways now has the auditor calling out the state agency spends on maintenance.

The audit says Caltrans “never implemented a budget model it paid $250,000 to develop,” then “reported to the Legislature it is using the model.”

The audit reports the Caltrans maintenance division “has weak cost controls,” which “creates opportunities for fraud, waste, and abuse.”

Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco responded to the report.

“Which says Caltrans division of maintenance paid $250,000 for development of a budget model, and abandoned it,” he said. “Well we didn’t abandon it.”

The biggest error in his opinion is Caltrans mischaracterizing its work.

“What I’m saying is Caltrans can do a better job, of more clearly explaining how we allocate resources,” he said.

But the audit has renewed state Sen. John Moorlach’s criticisms of the agency.

“We’re wasting money left and right,” he said.

In 2014, another government report showed Caltrans was overstaffed by 3,500 positions.

“Bbecause if they’re telling us they’re using new tools, and they’re not?” He said. “That’s deceit. that’s not acceptable to any boss, especially the stakeholders in this state.”


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