As the CEO of The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, I would like the opportunity to respond to your recent editorial about actions taken by the Office of Attorney General regarding our agency (Our Opinion, A culture of corruption, March 19, 2013).
I can assure your readers that the conduct alleged by the OAG does not reflect the dedication of our hard-working staff who keeps our road open and safe for customers.
We are working to earn the public’s trust, and this work got started even before I became CEO.
In the past two years, the Turnpike Commission instituted a more rigorous, transparent process for awarding contracts to ensure that only the most-qualified firms are considered and selected. In addition, the commission created a Compliance Office to make certain that employee actions at all levels remain above reproach. Finally, the commission formed a diversity and inclusion department to attract a broader pool of contractors and service providers to bid on projects.
More recently, in the wake of General Kane’s announcement, I directed our Compliance Officer to conduct a review of contracts awarded during the timeframe in question. That review is now getting under way. I called for the creation of an advisory group to review and critique current policies and procedures relating to contracting. Delegates for that group are now being recruited from inside and outside this agency, and I hope to hold the initial meeting within a month and a half.
I understand that people are frustrated when it comes to the alleged conduct of some government officials. I too was angered when I read the charges. That’s why I launched an aggressive effort to change the way we do business. That effort will continue. There is much work to be done, and while I recognize change may be slow in coming, my goal is to see that it’s enduring.
Our customers, our employees and our business partners deserve no less.
Mark P. Compton, CEO
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission