Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-920-7176
January 08, 2013

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Responds
to Auditor General’s Report

Commission CEO submits detailed response to state auditor general’s recommendations.

Jan. 8, 2013 -- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer Craig R. Shuey, on behalf of Commission Chairman Bill Lieberman and the four other Turnpike Commissioners, responded to an audit report issued earlier this afternoon by State Auditor General Jack Wagner.

“In general terms, we believe the findings in the audit suggest that the Commission is fulfilling its mission and serving the public well as a steward of the responsibility for improving, operating and maintaining the nation’s first superhighway,” Shuey wrote in a cover letter submitted Jan. 2 along with the commission’s detailed, seven-page response.

“The topic areas of the audit findings and recommendations…suggest that the Turnpike is a well-run operation given our areas of responsibility, breadth of geographic coverage and age of the system,” Shuey stated. “While we disagree necessarily upon the weight of each of your recommendations, it is clear to me that when system safety and provision of services are considered, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is performing as should be expected.”

In his cover letter, Shuey stated that the commission continues its work to improve internal processes and controls and the auditor’s findings provide other areas to examine as part of this ongoing process.

“Under the leadership of our Commissioners, the Turnpike is engaging in multiple internal reform efforts aimed at reducing our fiscal footprint, increasing our effective utilization of technology, improving roadway maintenance, rebuilding the roadway and updating our internal control processes. We believe these areas will net the Commission the greatest operational cost reductions and long-term system benefits,” Shuey wrote. “Having said this, and despite the fact that we do not necessarily agree with all of the findings and recommendations, your review of our performance has given us additional areas to consider as a part of our long-term strategy to position the organization for future challenges; as such, each will be given the appropriate level of attention as we continue to modernize our operations and readjust our priorities.”

General Wagner’s report focused largely on the turnpike’s practice of granting toll-free travel to employees and contractors. In fact, five of 20 recommendations in the report addressed this topic. Acting CEO Shuey promised to look into ways to increase answerability for the practice.

“As we believe you have correctly pointed out, the Commission must implement an added measure of accountability with regard to non-revenue travel on the Turnpike; and as a simple matter of fact, some data you requested simply does not exist,” Shuey stated. “As a result of this reality, we commit to exploring ways to ensure that this data, where practical, can be generated and that greater accountability is achieved system-wide. “

Shuey, however, disagreed with an accusation made in the auditor’s report suggesting that the commission was uncooperative during the audit.

“This roadway is operated by a dedicated staff of professionals who understand both the need to be responsive as well operate safely and efficiently to meet customer expectations,” Shuey said. “For this reason, we take issue with your characterization that the Turnpike was difficult to deal with regarding requests for data about contractor and employee policies for non-revenue travel. We do not believe anyone at the Commission intentionally attempted to delay or interfere with your review functions.”

The full text of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s response to the auditor, and Acting CEO Shuey’s complete cover letter, are available in the auditor’s final report and online at

View Cover Letter and Response.