Certification mess costs the state

Oklahoma’s lack of a series of certifications may be keeping millions in federal transportation grants out of the state’s hands, according to State Sen. Mark Allen.

Allen, R-Spiro, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said expanded federal grants are available for Oklahoma’s Department of Transportation (ODOT), but the state must be Core Certified first.  Before Oklahoma can be Core Certified, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) must also complete the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and International Registration Plan (IRP) projects, which were originally set to be completed in 2009.

ODOT has very conservatively estimated that the delay in the state’s Core Certification has cost the CVISN program in excess of $2.5 million.

“The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has known of these requirements and deadlines for years. Even though federal grants have been extended many times, every year the Corporation Commission refuses to comply,” Allen said.  “Timelines are created and ignored. Deadlines have been extended, only to expire for lack of action. Furthermore, every year the possibility of millions of dollars in expanded federal grants go unused.”