The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission welcomes the scrutiny of the auditor general and the many independent audits performed on our operations or finances each year.
Contrary to the auditor general's assertion, we cooperated fully throughout the performance audit.
We also take exception to the most recent report regarding access to our system for employees and contractors ("Auditor General Urges Watch Over Free Turnpike Rides," Dec. 11).
The turnpike operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and our employees need 24-hour access to our system. Last year alone, our employees made nearly 10,000 calls from the roadway to our operations center to report and ensure prompt response to incidents, making the turnpike safer for our customers.
From a business perspective, it makes no sense to charge contractors working on a road project a toll -- only to reimburse them for the toll paid. The cost of the additional paperwork and accounting time would far outweigh any potential cost savings.
In the past two years, we have begun to review the access we provide and more closely monitor usage. This ongoing review reflects our commitment to improving our operations.
In recent months, we have changed our procurement process and created the Office of Compliance and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to provide more transparency, accountability and competition.
We will continue seeking ways to improve our operations to provide our 510,000 daily customers with safe and convenient travel.
Chief of Communications and Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission