In recent years, Kansas agencies spent about $5 billion annually in monetary and nonmonetary support from federally funded programs. Federally funded programs will require Kansas agencies to spend an estimated $2 billion on cost-sharing obligations in fiscal year 2016. Beyond that, we did not identify any significant unfunded mandates, although there are restrictions tied to the use of federal funds. Federally funded programs typically impose administrative requirements on state agencies, although most of these costs can be paid for with program funds. They also often include conditions on how state agencies can spend federal funds. Most programs have penalty or repayment clauses if state agencies fail to meet these conditions or program requirements. In addition, we found examples where the federal government has tied some national policy objectives to federal funds and states’ efforts to challenge those policies have had mixed results.
State Agency Information Systems: Reviewing Security Controls in Selected State Agencies – Kansas Department of Transportation
The Legislative Post Audit Committee has directed our office to conduct ongoing information system audits as an adjunct to the division’s compliance and control audits. The current three-year plan started with a statewide assessment of what types of sensitive datasets the state maintains and which agencies are responsible for those data. The results of that audit formed the basis of a risk assessment we used to select agencies for agency-specific audits. This audit evaluated state of information technology security in the selected agency.
The Information Technology Executive Council has adopted IT security standards for the state. This audit evaluated how well the selected agency adhered to about 100 ITEC requirements or best practices across twenty different information technology security areas.
This report is kept permanently confidential under K.S.A. 45-221(a)(12) because the information it contains could jeopardize the agency’s IT security. No corresponding public report has been issued.
State of Kansas: Financial Audit of Fiscal Year 2011 (Reissued)
State law calls for an annual audit of the general purpose financial statements and “the financial affairs and transactions of a state agency required to comply with federal government audit requirements…” RubinBrown, under contract with Legislative Post Audit, conducted this two-part audit. This first part is the report on the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The second part, the Report on Federal Awards in Accordance with OMB Circular A-133, will be issued as a separate report.
The auditors concluded that the basic financial statements present the state’s financial position fairly and in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and disclosed no instances of noncompliance with applicable legal requirements that were material to the state’s financial statements. However, the auditors did report four material weaknesses and one significant deficiency in internal control over financial reporting. The material weaknesses included not having sufficient controls to identify and correct potential misstatements, not reconciling the pooled cash account until after the fiscal year closed, not properly recording certain revenues, receivables, and payables, and not capturing and properly depreciating all capital assets. The auditors identified the need for several material adjusting entries as a result of these deficiencies, and several previous fund balances had to be restated.
Agency Data Centers: A K-GOAL Audit Assessing the Potential Savings of Consolidation
As of 2007, at least 27 states were pursuing data center consolidation, and 22 states had completed or were partially done with consolidation. Kansas and four other states were proposing data center consolidation in 2007, and Kansas currently is still in the planning stage. The 2010 Legislature directed the Division of Information Systems and Communications (DISC) to complete an information technology consolidation study by the 2011 legislative session. Data center consolidation is an expensive and difficult process, but server virtualization—replacing several physical servers with a single host server that simulates several—is a relatively new step agencies can take to save money and prepare for future data center consolidation. We selected five large agencies that have about half the physical servers in the State, and found those agencies already had virtualized many servers, saving an estimated $600,000 to date. We estimate these five agencies could save an additional $400,000 to $1 million over three years by virtualizing their remaining servers. Additionally, we estimate the State potentially could save about $1.3 million over three years if smaller and mid-sized agencies leased virtualized servers from DISC, rather than maintaining their own physical servers. However, these savings depend on agencies’ willingness to participate, and agency officials have expressed concerns with DISC’s costs and customer service.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: A Preliminary Assessment of the Risk That Recovery Act Moneys Won’t Be Appropriately Accounted for or Spent
The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) requires unprecedented accountability and oversight of federal moneys being spent at the State and local levels. State agencies in Kansas will receive more than $2 billion in formula grants under the Act through 2011. The 2008 Statewide Single Audit had identified procedural or control weaknesses in four State programs that will be receiving ARRA moneys. Correction of those weaknesses, which related to things like reconciling records, improving eligibility determinations, and implementing computer edits to prevent improper payments, will be checked during the 2009 Single Audit. In eight other programs reviewed for this audit, the risk that agencies won’t comply with the requirements of ARRA appears to be relatively small. We found no weaknesses in the way that agencies are accounting for the ARRA moneys. However, in areas of monitoring and quarterly reporting, we found that officials from several of the programs needed to commit their procedures to writing to ensure consistency and, in a few cases, needed to further develop procedures or hire additional staff to ensure that monitoring or reporting functions could be carried out effectively. In separate work, we found that the Department of Transportation’s process for selecting highway projects to fund appears to comply with Recovery Act requirements.
Business Procurement Cards: Expanding Their Use To Increase Cash Rebates to the State
For fiscal year 2008, we estimated that $27 million of the non-procurement-card purchases agencies made from the 37 highest-volume vendors potentially could have been charged to a procurement card. Charging all those purchases would have generated more than $380,000 in cash-back rebates. Agencies also made $327 million of similar non-procurement-card purchases from the thousands of other vendors we didn’t analyze. If just 20% of these purchases could have been charged, agencies would have generated $940,000 in additional cash-back rebates, for a total of $1.3 million. Among other things, agency officials told us they didn’t always use their procurement cards when they could because of concerns about the complexity of tracking such purchases, and the perceived lack of thorough controls over procurement card purchases.
State Hiring Practices: Determining Whether Requirements Related to Veterans’ Preferences Are Being Met
State regulations implementing the Kansas Civil Service Act create a veterans’ preference for classified positions. The regulations require State agencies to interview eligible veterans who apply for a classified position and who meet the minimum requirements of the position. Our review of 144 veterans who applied for 61 classified positions at four State agencies during 2006 found that in all but three cases, the veterans either were given an interview or there was a valid reason the interview didn’t occur. During our review, we saw no evidence that veterans received only “token” interviews. State regulations are silent regarding a veterans’ preference for unclassified positions.
Highway Construction: Reviewing KDOT’s Plans for Construction on Highway 183 South of Plainville (limited-scope audit)
In 2006, KDOT plans to spend about $9.4 million to reconstruct 6 miles of U.S. Highway 183 south of Plainville. It plans to leave the existing road open while parallel lanes are constructed approximately 130 feet to the west of the existing lanes. Some local residents have suggested that closing the road during construction and expanding the existing roadbed by only about 50 feet to the west would avoid the cost of moving some utilities and allow less right-of way to be acquired from landowners. It appears that the local residents’ approach may have cost about $434,000 less to construct if it had been considered and selected by KDOT during the initial planning for the road. KDOT did not hold public meetings to solicit input from local residents before designing the project. However, KDOT officials told us they wouldn’t have selected that approach had it been proposed during the initial planning because it would require extremely long detours between Plainville and Hays, affecting things like medical response times, local businesses, and the motoring public. If the design plan were changed now, redesign costs, additional inflation, and the sunk costs already incurred for the project would raise the cost of the locals’ plan to about $10.1 million.
Kansas Department of Transportation: Reviewing the Costs Associated with Recent Bond Issues (limited-scope audit)
In November 2004, KDOT issued two types of variable-rate bonds totaling $347 million to fund highway construction. These bonds are re-marketed weekly to take advantage of lower short-term interest rates. The agents who re-market the bonds receive fees that generally are about one quarter of 1% of the amount of bonds outstanding or about $771,000 a year. For $147 million of the bonds, KDOT entered into an agreement with an investment banking firm that will “synthetically” fix the rate of interest on those bonds at about 3.6%. That will save KDOT an estimated $1 million a year after all fees associated with the bonds have been paid. For the other $200 million, KDOT didn’t do a cost-benefit analysis. KDOT officials indicated that over the last 20 years variable-rate bonds have always produced interest savings of at least one percentage point, which would more than offset the fees they would pay on these bonds. If interest rates should rise over the next few years, those interest cost savings are less certain. The fees KDOT paid to issue and maintain these bonds are in line with fees paid by other bond issuers.
Taxation of Contractor Equipment: Determining Whether Kansas’ System of Taxes and Fees Is Similar to Surrounding States
Local governments in all the states we contacted assess personal property taxes against construction equipment, but Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas will collect property tax even if a contractor already has paid in another state. With few exceptions, Kansas and its neighboring states don't impose motor vehicle registration fees on construction equipment, primarily because such equipment isn't regularly driven on state roads or highways or the interstate highway system. All contractors have to pay oversize/overweight permit fees in Kansas and all 4 of the surrounding states we contacted, but those fees are much lower in Kansas. Kansas could generate about $1 million or more of new revenues each year by imposing some fees that other states already collect, and by increasing existing fees to bring them in line with what other states charge.
Highway Construction Change Orders: Reviewing Costs Associated with Construction on Highway 36 Near Marysville (100-hour audit)
After construction began on a replacement bridge on US-36 over the Big Blue River, KDOT learned that 10 of 29 bridge support shafts needed to be a total of 29 feet deeper than the 1,252 feet of drilling originally planned. The additional work involved drilling large shafts into rock as hard as some granites. KDOT negotiated with the company and paid $5,000-$7,000 per foot for the additional drilling. There's no good information about how much similar work has cost other states. However, when these additional costs are averaged over the entire length drilled, KDOT paid $731 per foot, which is mid-range of what KDOT and several other states have paid for somewhat comparable projects, and less than what any other contractor bid on this project. KDOT has and followed reasonable change order procedures, and it has clear justification for how it arrived at prices in this case. However, there is no written guidance for determining fair and reasonable prices for change order items.
Department of Transportation: Reviewing Wage Payments to Equipment Operators (100-hour audit)
KDOT equipment operators on 4 of 5 crews in the Topeka area were overpaid when KDOT sent them home early to rest up for night duty on the first day of snowstorms. The overpayments occurred because crew supervisors failed to follow Department policy that specifies when rest time can be compensated, and because the area superintendent didn't ensure the supervisors were recording time properly. While no one knows for sure, these overpayments likely went on for at least 15 years, with about $12,000 in overpayments over the last 5 years. KDOT has decided not to recoup the overpaid wages from the equipment operators, which seems reasonable given the difficulty in determining exactly who was overpaid and by how much. KDOT's efforts to correct the problem have focused on educating its supervisors, but further steps need to be taken to ensure that supervisors are following the correct timekeeping policies.
Life-Cycle Analyses of Kansas Highway Projects: Evaluating the Process Followed by the Kansas Department of Transportation
Essentially the same proportions of asphalt and concrete are being used under the current highway program as were used under the previous highway program. However, far fewer lane miles of road are scheduled to be rehabilitated under the current program, and that's the reason less asphalt is being used overall under the current program. KDOT's life-cycle cost analysis is appropriate and reasonable in many respects, but several improvements are needed to help ensure that the most cost-effective pavement alternatives are designed and selected. Our review did show that some things about the formula could favor asphalt over concrete. Both revenue and expenditure estimates for the Comprehensive Transportation Program have increased since May 1999, but expenditures have grown more than revenues. Overall, as of January 2003, KDOT projected that revenues for the Program would be about $417 million less than needed, and the amount of outstanding bonds would be almost $2.2 billion.
State-Held-Lands: Reviewing the Management and Use of Those Lands in Kansas
Kansas lacked a good centralized system for inventorying and managing State-owned and leased land. Through direct surveys of all State agencies we learned that they owned more than 335,600 acres and leased another 256,000 acres for State use. Most of that land was used for highway right-of-way and for parks and wildlife habitat. About 4,800 acres worth $6.9 million was potentially surplus. Nothing would prevent the State from selling this land, but conditions, like toxic waste on some parcels, may make it difficult to sell. State agencies will continue to have little incentive to identify surplus lands, despite a new law requiring that guidelines and criteria for identifying and selling surplus land be put into place. The new law didn't set up an independent authority to make the decision about whether potentially surplus land should be sold, and it lacked a financial incentive for agencies to sell land. When agencies lease out State-owned land, they usually do it on a competitive-bid basis; only 4 agencies weren't using competitive bids to let their leases or didn't rebid the leases frequently enough. Finally, we found a few cases where agencies weren't paying property taxes on land when they should have been, and at least one case where an agency was paying taxes it shouldn't have been paying.
Compliance and Control Audit: Department of Transportation
The Legislature first enacted the Kansas Quality Program in 1994, which allowed participating agencies to give employees cash and non-cash awards for improving State operations through specific quality initiatives. A second program was started the following year, which allowed agencies participating in the first program to keep half the money they were appropriated but didn’t spend. Agencies have retained about $5.3 million that they didn’t spend in fiscal years 1995 and 1996. Most of their purchases with those moneys have been for capital outlay items, such as computers or parole office automation technology. In fiscal year 1997 five agencies spent $38,000 for employee bonuses. Most of the expenditures we reviewed were appropriate; however, bonuses paid by two agencies didn’t meet the program requirements, and one of those agencies exceeded the $1,000 limit established by the Legislature. The Governor proposes expanding the program to all agencies and eliminating any tie to the original Kansas Quality Program. Positive aspects to this proposal include increased spending flexibility for agencies and less incentive to spend all moneys at year-end. Examples of risks include possible overbudgeting, the potential for cutting back on needed services to generate savings, and less up-front accountability for expenditures.
Reviewing the Department of Transportation’s Acquisition of Right-of-Way for Highway Projects
In general, the Department has followed a consistent process that meets legal requirements when it acquires property from landowners. The Department didn’t follow its standard process in acquiring right-of way for the South Lawrence Trafficway project. Land for this project was acquired by the Department’s Chief Counsel, instead of the Bureau of Right-of-Way. The Department didn’t always pay consistent prices for the properties it acquired; for about 31% of the properties we reviewed, the Department paid significantly more than the appraised value. When landowners received significantly more, generally it was because of condemnation awards or because the Department agreed the property was worth more than the appraised value. It is difficult to tell whether the Department might have paid some landowners too much, because of the tremendous amount of judgment involved in making such decisions. About half the landowners who responded to our survey said they were paid less than they expected to receive, while 95% of the Department staff who responded to our survey said they thought the Department paid a reasonable amount.
Reviewing State Contracting for Consultants and Other Professional and Technical Services
In fiscal year 1995, the State spent about $221 million on contracted professional services--an increase of 56% from fiscal year 1991. Nine agencies accounted for 75% of recent spending on professional services. We found that Kansas has no written procedures on acquiring professional services, and no policies to guide State agencies on monitoring contracts or on handling problems with vendors’ performance. In the absence of centralized guidance, there’s a significant risk agencies won’t get the services they need, or will pay too much for the services they get. Lastly, while many agencies say they assess the need for the programs and services they offer, we found those assessments often aren’t systematic or designed specifically to determine whether these activities should be continued. Many agencies also say they assess whether the programs and services they offer could be provided more cost effectively by contracting with private entities, but we found those assessments often don’t include all costs. Some privatization efforts currently under way may increase State costs.
Reviewing the Efficiency of State Printing Plant Operations (100-hour audit)
With few exceptions, standard jobs (such as letterhead, envelopes, and business cards) being printed at State agencies with their own printing facilities could be done by the State Printing Plant or a private-sector printing firm. For our limited sample of such printing jobs, the State Printer’s estimated charges were less to print most items than commercial printers or other State agencies, even though the other State agencies don’t include all costs of operation in their estimated charges.
Reviewing Highway Construction in Kansas: A K-GOAL Audit of the Kansas Department of Transportation
If the Department completes the work planned for fiscal years 1996 and 1997, it will accomplish most of the major requirements of the Comprehensive Highway Program, except one to spend certain amounts each year for transportation programs to aid the elderly and disabled. At the end of fiscal year 1995, the State Highway Fund had a cash balance exceeding $1 billion, largely because of bonds sold to finance construction projects that will begin in 1996 and 1997. Revenues from tax and fee increases established to help finance the Program will more than cover the debt service on the bonds the Department has issued. Because those taxes and fees don’t revert to their previous levels at the end of the Program, they will continue to provide an enhanced level of funding for the Department into the future. Even with the enhanced revenues, the Department’s current spending estimates show the balance in the State Highway fund could be depleted by fiscal year 2003. Finally, the Department has established and generally followed good procedures to ensure that quality highways are built at a reasonable cost, but it needs to improve its process for detecting bidder collusion, and it needs to ensure that its staff conduct all required tests to ensure that roads are well built.
Reviewing the Operations of the Kansas Turnpike Authority
The Turnpike Authority had more staff per lane mile than the Department of Transportation, but fewer staff than two of three other turnpikes we reviewed. Its maintenance costs per mile of road were higher than the department’s costs. But when we compared the total cost of constructing and maintaining some similar stretches of road over a long period of time, the Turnpike Authority’s costs were lower. The Authority generally pays higher wages and provides better fringe benefits to its employees than the Department. The Authority generally had adequate operating plans and controls but could improve its controls in the areas of competitve bidding and documenting purchases with credit cards issued in the Authority’s name. If the State were to operate the Turnpike without tolls, it would have to pay off up to $162 million in Turnpike bonds, assume about $20 million in annual operating costs, and spend many millions more in capital costs to bring the road up to federal standards. Finally, we found that the Authority saved money on its recent bond issues and sold the bonds at very good interest rates. However, we concluded that the Authority coul strengthen its bond-issuance procedures by hiring an independent financial advisor and by soliciting proposals from more underwriters.
Examining Potential Duplication and Overlap in Programs for Kansas’ Aging Population
The Department on Aging and the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services fund or provide essentially the same long-term-care services, but offer their programs to different groups of elderly individuals. When more than one agency provides or funds essentially the same services, there is considerable duplication of administrative effort, which can result in client confusion, clients falling through the cracks if coordination is inadequate, and in money being spent for administrative activities that otherwise could be spent for direct services. The State might gain some cost efficiencies from consolidating all its long-term-care programs in one agency, as two comparison states have done, but some disadvantages also would result. For an individual client, the State generally can provide home and community-based long-term-care services at a lower cost than nursing home services. However, the total cost to the State of providing those services may not decrease significantly, particularly in the short-run, because states’ new long-term-care programs tend to expand the number of people eligible for services, and because the Medicaid-Waiver Programs may be serving elderly individuals who would not be getting services in the absence of such Programs.
Reviewing Potential Overlap in State Agencies’ Responsibilities for Protecting Groundwater and Regulating Transportation
The Corporation Commission and the Department of Health and Environment do not duplicate each other's efforts on the same pollution problems, but inefficiencies and confusion result from having two agencies involved. Because each agency follows essentially the same steps to ensure that pollution is cleaned up, there is no benefit to the State from having both involved. Other oil- and gas-producing states have placed pollution clean up from oil and gas with one agency. Having several agencies involved with motor carrier regulation also has not resulted in significant overlap in agency responsibilities. However, motor carriers would be better served, and the State could potentially reduce some administrative inefficiencies, if there were a greater degree of coordination in the regulatory system. Although there are no easy solutions to the inherent conflict regulatory agencies face in balancing the interests of the public and the regulated industry, restrictions on staff involvement with a regulated industry could help improve staff independence. Other oil-producing states generally have not enacted such restriction on their staffs.
Reviewing Selected Projections and Cost Estimates for the 1989 Comprehensive Highway Program
The projected inflation and interest rate assumptions used by the Department in determining the costs of the proposed 1989 highway program appeared to be in line with other estimates. Kansas builds its highways to a 20-year design standard, which is greater than the 15-year bonds proposed for the program. Finally, although the Department bases its cost estimates for projects on reasonable assumptions, we were not able to determine the accuracy of those estimates.
Public Transportation Services for the Elderly and Handicapped in Kansas
Because State agencies do not require local transportation providers to take any specific coordination actions, the current Kansas system results in significant overlap and inefficiency at the local level. All parts of the State apparently have unmet needs for transportation services for the elderly and handicapped. Some Department of Transportation policies are more restrictive than federal requirements, and may limit local agencies’ flexibility to meet the transportation needs of their clients.
Reflective Sheeting Used in Highway Construction Zones
In 1987, an estimated 227,500 square feet of high-performance reflective sheeting was used on the signs, drums, and barricades for all projects awarded by the Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority, at an estimated cost of about $631,000. This figure represents about one-fourth of one percent of the $232 million projected cost of the highway contracts awarded by these two entities in 1987. The Federal Highway Administration recommends the use of high-performance sheeting on traffic control devices in construction zones primarily for safety reasons. However, most contractors surveyed did not think that high-performance sheeting improved safety in construction zones. Finally, the Department has not adopted a policy addressing the types of pavement marking materials to be used in construction zones, nor has it fully analyzed the cost-effectiveness of durable materials.
Because of the lack of any real benefits from security markings on Kansas license plates, the presence of directional security markings in Kansas’ specifications cannot be justified. As a result of failures by the Department of Revenue, Kansas counties are projected to have a surplus of about 169,000 license plates at the end of 1987; this five-month oversupply of plates cost the State more than $228,000. Kansas’ testing requirements for reflective sheeting used on license plates appear to be reasonably related to the specifications, but past and current testing procedures have not always conformed with the tests called for in the written specifications.
Improving the Efficiency of the Central Motor Pool
Compared with other states, the Motor Pool appears to have a reasonable number of vehicles. The Motor Pool sometimes has more unassigned vehicles on hand than it needs, but it generally buys only as many vehicles each year as it expects to have to replace. Although some permanently assigned vehicles may not meet the requirements for permanent assignment, in some instances their assignnment appeared to be appropriate. Finally, the Motor Pool’s costs are about the same as other states, although some cost savings might result if State employees were encouraged to purchase gasoline from Department of Transportation facilities when possible.
Department of Transportation officials can deviate from projects scheduled for work in the five-year highway improvement program if the reasons for those deviations are documented. The resurfacing project on Highway 81 was moved forward in the schedule several years, but the reasons for doing so were not well documented. The bridge replacement on Highway 4 was added to the program to cooperate with a drainage project. This decision was well documented.
Department of Transportation’s Management of Construction and Repair Projects
Less than eight percent of the 1985 projects exceeded the scheduled “working” days. The Department’s options for addressing contractors’ lack of timeliness are assessing liquidated damages and downgrading qualifications for future bids. The latter option is limited by a lack of data. On-site supervision and other quality-control checks help ensure the quality of materials and construction, but the Department should improve its supervision of projects inspected by consultants and local government.
Only one company has qualified to bid on the sheeting specified by the Department of Revenue to reflectorize license plates, but Kansas officials were unaware of a firm that successfully competed in another state. In 1986 Kansas also began packaging all bids for license plate sheeting, stickers, and decal, which effectively eliminated competition for the stickers and decals. For highway signs, the Department of Transportation has adopted a policy of using a more expensive high-intensity sheeting on certain signs and in construction work zones for visibility, durability, and safety reasons. However, that policy was based on a limited evaluation of the cost and useful life of the materials.
Local Governments’ Use of Motor Fuel Tax Revenues
Published: JANUARY, 1985
Higher motor fuel taxes in fiscal year 1984 resulted in an $18.4 million Statewide increase in revenues distributed to cities and counties for local roads and highways . Only two of 12 localities reviewed clearly decreased their local taxing effort; most maintained or increased their local revenues. Increases in expenditures from special local road funds ranged from three percent to 140 percent.
Analyzing the Performance Evaluation System in Kansas
The system is well designed, but performance standards often are not written so they can be objectively measured, ratings often are not adequately justified, performance improvement goals are rarely used, and the system is not always uniformaly applied. The evaluation system is addressing problems of poor performers , but without the merit pay incentive, its effectiveness at reinforcing good performers has deminished.
This audit examines two topics--bid-rigging on highway contracts, and management of the State’s highway and freeway funds. At the time of the audit, federal and State investigations had already shown that a considerable amount of bid-rigging had taken place on highway construction projects in recent years. The audit focused on how effectively the State discouraged collusion in the past and if this effectiveness improved after the disclosures of collusion.The audit found that before collusion was uncovered, a number of basic procedures to discourage it were not in place. For example, the State’s own estimates of a projects’ cost were not kept confidential. Contractors who knew the estimate could then know how high they could set the winning bid without arousing suspicion. Safeguards were not in place because the Department of Transportation didn’t consider collusion to be a serious possibility.
Kansas Corporation Commission: Motor Carrier Regulatory Program
This sunset audit concludes that economic regulation over the trucking industry (covering such factors as entry into the industry, rates charged, and routes or services granted) should not be continued. The auditors found that certain aspects of economic regulation have limited competition without ensuring adequate service to some communities, and have allowed motor carriers to charge higher rates than they would charge in a competitive environment. The report also concludes that safety regulations over the trucking industry (covering standards for driver qualifications and work hours, and vehicle operations, equipment, and maintenance) should continue. Even with regulation of safety factors, Kansans can suffer injuries and other financial losses as a result of accidents caused by vehicle defects, driver fatigue, and drivers using alcohol. The report recommends that the Commission’s motor carrier regulatory program be abolished, and that safety regulation be continued under the jurisdiction of the Departments of Revenue and Transportation and the Highway Patrol.
Maintaining Kansas Highways
Published: JANUARY, 1979
An engineering consultant evaluated highway conditions as part of the audit. He found that Kansas’ highways were generally maintained as well as highways in the four surrounding states. He did find some problems, however, with bridge maintenance, with shoulder drop-offs and erosion, and with cracks, ruts, and slick spots that impaired road surfaces. The auditors developed a survey to find out what Kansans thought about the maintenance of their highways. About half the 283 drivers surveyed were dissatisfied with the condition of highway surfaces and shoulders. The report recommends that the Department of Transportation study the use of paved shoulders to eliminate some of the problems noted and to make shoulders safer.The auditors found that although the quality of maintenance in Kansas was about the smae as in surrounding states, Kansas spends considerably more to maintain its highways. In fiscal year 1977, the State’s maintenance expenditures were 43 percent higher than the average for these other states. The auditors found, that costs were higher in Kansas for two reasons: the State relies heavily on a method of resurfacing roads that drives up costs, and it hasn’t adequately invested in modern, labor-saving equipment. The audit recommends that the State begin buying equipment and that it modify its resurfacing programs. The cost of these changes will be offset later because fewer maintenance workers will be needed.
The Planning and Construction of the State Freeway System
There have been inconsistent images of the freeway system. Confusion has existed as to whether it should be a complete four-lane system, or one basing the number of lanes and types of road on need. A mixed two- and four-lane system will be sufficient, but if either of these systems is built, new revenue will have to be found. A mixed two- and four-lane system completed by 1999 will cost $1.6 billion; a four-lane system will cost more than $4.2 billion. The report examines four potential methods of raising revenue for the system.
State Operated Laboratories Preliminary Assessment
Due to concerns that a number of the laboratories in the state are not operating to full capacity there is to be a review of the operations and fee schedules of state operated laboratories. Major state laboratories were identified from statutory and budget research prior audits, Budget Division, Legislative Research and other pertinent sources, including telephone interviews. The audit of the laboratories will follow the patterns of the audit of state operated pharmacies and drug rooms. This audit excluded such labs as those at state colleges and universities and labs operated by hospitals which serve the single institution’s needs.