Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton issued the following statement today in the wake of the Office of Attorney General (OAG) action taken last week:
I have reviewed the grand jury presentment in its entirety. Again, it is not appropriate for me or anyone else to address pending criminal charges — including those filed against former Turnpike employees.
But I am personally offended by the conduct that has been alleged. We will not stand for it, and it will not be tolerated. Our customers deserve better. Frankly, our employees deserve better. It is not acceptable.
Two years ago, we began the process of changing this agency. We have revamped our procurement process to demand more transparency and greater accountability. And we intend to continue evaluating this process and making improvements where needed.
Today, I have directed our Office of Compliance to take the following steps immediately:
- 1. Launch a thorough review of every professional-services contract that was cited in the Attorney General’s presentment and those contracts awarded during the timeframe of the OAG’s investigation that currently remain active.
- 2. Draft a memo to each of our professional-service providers that includes our employee code of conduct; the professional services procurement policy that was enacted in April 2012; and the Compliance Office’s toll-free ‘tip’ line with instructions to contact that office if questions or issues with employee or official conduct arise.
- 3. Ensure that every member of our workforce has read and signed our employee code of conduct and agreed to abide by all of its provisions. This is to make sure that every employee understands that they are encouraged to come forward if they witness inappropriate conduct — and will be supported for doing so.
In addition to the three steps above, the commissioners have directed me to convene a special advisory group to review and critique current Turnpike policies and procedures relating to contracting and other business practices to see where continued improvements can be made and to research best-practices at comparable agencies to learn from their experiences and protocols.
Our employees should understand that these actions are in no way meant to reflect upon the conduct of the vast majority of our workforce.
I want to make it perfectly clear to every employee and to all customers and stakeholders: The four measures introduced today — along with the changes made over the past two years— signify a clean break from any past offenses; now is the time for this commission to start moving forward, to restore the reputation of what I consider to be a great agency.