Monday, January 25, 2010

Parham Stirs the Pot

State Transportation Board member Bobby Parham showed up again in the AJC late last week. If you didn't catch that, you can check it out here. (The best part of the story, and the most illuminating, is found in the comments section.)
Parham also stopped by the Union-Recorder offices Monday to defend a State Transportation Board decision to reverse a former DOT Commissioner Gena Abraham (Evans)-era accounting change that he says has slowed the DOT's ability to keep Georgians at work building and maintaining the country's best state highway system.
Parham said the change, from a cash to an accrual method of accounting, would allow the DOT to borrow money to fund the state's portion of federally-backed road projects on the promise of the federal government making good on their end of the investment.
Evans, a perennial Perdue appointee, implemented the cash accounting procedure after a 2008 DOT audit accused a DOT treasurer of purposefully intending "to hide the true state of GDOT’s finances."
As the AJC and ATL Bizness Chronicle reports say above, the state Transportation Board has already passed a motion to move back to the accrual form of accounting in last week's meeting. But Parham said Trans Board Chair Bill Kuhlke called a special meeting for this Thursday, and he (Parham) thinks Kulhke will try to get the board to reconsider the motion, or at least postpone the change until the next fiscal year, which begins in July.
Board members are asking Attorney General Thurbert Baker to decide whether or not it is constitutional for DOT to use the accrual accounting.
Parham says there is more to this story, so watch it grow legs Friday.

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