Audit shows DOT accounting problems remain

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ATLANTA --- Significant accounting problems remain at the Department of Transportation, even as Gov. Sonny Perdue says ample improvement has been made to justify adding more than $1 billion more over the next 10 years.

A review released by the Department of Audits & Accounts cited seven accounting deficiencies serious enough to cause misstatement of the agency's finances, which could take weeks to correct. It listed six of them as "material weaknesses" that could lead to confusion about finances that might be impossible to ever sort out.

Plus, six of 11 deficiencies listed in last year's audit still have not been fully resolved.

The Transportation Department had such problems keeping track of its money in 2008 that it spent $456 million more than it had.

But the agency has tried to improve, notes Bill Kuhlke, the chairman of the State Transportation Board that oversees the DOT. It upgraded its accounting software and began producing monthly budget-status reports for the board and management.

"We know that we have made great progress during fiscal year 2009, but we also know that much remains to be done," he wrote in a letter to Mr. Perdue and the legislature attached to the audit.


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