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The National Association of State Highway and Transportation Unions (NASHTU) is dedicated to ensuring that federal transportation dollars are spent on cost-effective, safe projects that serve the public interest. NASHTU is comprised of 38 unions and associations representing hundreds of thousands of state and locally employed transportation engineers, construction managers and inspectors, technical workers and related public servants from throughout the United States.

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NASHTU Conference Set for April 20-22, 2020 – Save the Date!

NASHTU’s 21st Annual Conference will be held April 20 through 22, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington D.C.  Please be sure to save the dates!

The timing of the 2020 NASHTU Conference couldn’t be better.  Congress will be hard at work negotiating a new surface transportation authorization to take the place of the FAST Act, which expires in the fall of 2020.  NASHTU members will be well-positioned to advocate for common sense transportation policies that will ensure that transportation projects are delivered safely and cost effectively.

As always, the conference agenda will be packed with keynote addresses from Members of Congress, government officials, good government advocacy groups, transportation industry experts, labor leaders and many others.  Conference attendees will also head to Capitol Hill to meet with their state’s Congressional Representatives and urge support for NASHTU’s objectives.

NASHTU has secured a special room rate at the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel (400 New Jersey Avenue, NW) of $339 per night (single/double occupancy).  The hotel will also honor the special room rate for up to two days prior to and after the conference, subject to hotel availability.  Advance reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 202/737-1234.  Please be sure to mention the NASHTU Conference when booking your accommodations.

As always, if you have suggestions for speakers, panels, or interesting subjects for the conference, please let us know.  We look forward to seeing you at the 21st NASHTU Conference.


NASHTU Notes

January 14, 2020

Another State Audit, Another Finding of Overpriced Consultants

A performance audit recently released by the Ohio State Auditor found that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) could save upwards of $21 million per year if they utilized in-house staff for construction inspection services.  The performance audit, required under a new state law that also raised the gas tax, found that the cost of an outsourced, consultant inspector is almost three times the cost of using a state-employed professional to perform the same functions.  Not surprisingly, the audit recommends that ODOT bring much of the construction inspection work in-house rather than continuing to use overpriced consultants.

Click here to read the full audit by the Ohio State Auditor (Section 2 pertains to construction inspection).

Ohio is just the latest of many states that have found transportation consultants to be severely overpriced.  NASHTU has documented that several states could save significant amounts of taxpayer dollars by bringing the work in-house.

In fact, after a 2011 state audit in Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Transportation hired additional staff and reduced their use of outsourced consultants to perform construction inspection services, saving the state $43 million per year, according to 2018 congressional testimony by Tennessee’s former Transportation Commissioner John Schroer.  He further testified that “every dollar of the $43 million in annual savings has gone back into projects.”

Such reports and audits underscore the need for NASHTU’s continued federal legislative advocacy for laws and policies to require states to perform cost comparison analyses before outsourcing work on federally-funded transportation projects.