A state audit released Thursday says lax management at Caltrans allowed technicians to collect pay for work they never did and to falsify data on the safety of 11 construction projects. Read the complete report below.
California’s Bureau of State Audits also found that the transportation agency took years to ensure the suspect projects were sound.
The four-year probe found that a Caltrans supervisor paid a couple of technicians $13,700 for work they did not do.
One of the workers falsified data on the safety of three construction projects, including the La Sierra Avenue bridge in Riverside, and a retaining wall at Braddock Avenue on the I-5 Freeway in Los Angeles.
A whistle blower told the state auditor about the abuses in 2009. That same year Caltrans identified the affected projects – but didn’t test their soundness until October 2011.
That was when agency engineers identified 8 additional cases where the technician and an engineer falsified safety data on projects dating back to 2004.
The state auditor recommended that Caltrans seek reimbursement of the overpayment and strengthen testing requirements. In a written statement, a Caltrans spokesman said the agency has adopted most of the auditor’s recommendations.