Monday, March 10, 2008

Do We Really Need A State Plane?

Posted on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Or three of them?

Idaho's state auditors took a long look at the Idaho Transportation Department, and that was their main question.

Here's some of their conclusions:

After looking at the state's records for management of its three planes, the Legislative Audits office found that "ownership may not be cost effective or essential to the needs of the state."

Get in a car, already, they seemed to be saying.

"The urgency of trips and itineraries indicate that other less expensive transportation options exist in most circumstances," the auditors wrote.

Other major issues arose:

°Auditors questioned the Idaho Transportation Department's ability to maintain its books. "Billings for state-owned aircraft usage are not always accurate," the auditors wrote.

In three separate instances, auditors found that the state was under-billed by approximately $2,500.

°The state's largest and most expensive aircraft was often used to transport a single passenger.

°In one instance, auditors found that the state plane was used to assist in "a medical situation." Although that's "humanitarian in nature," auditors wrote, use of the plane in that circumstance is not within the state's printed policies.

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