Posted by Jeff Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & CEO
Yesterday’s Globe contained some troubling comments about the culture in our organization, and our attention to safety and to detail when it comes to documenting issues.
First, on the maintenance issues, we have made progress, and the tunnels are safe. Since the light fixture fell and brought to light the corrosion issues, MassDOT has carefully inspected all of the fixtures and has hired an independent engineering firm to prepare a 5-year Capital Maintenance Plan for the tunnels making up the Metropolitan Highway System. Our announcement and the status of the progress we are making and documents safety concerns as quickly as possible is on our website and is here for you and others to review: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Highway/TunnelSafety.aspx. We all know that there will continue to be maintenance issues throughout the system – and we are committed to immediately addressing them.
Secondly, the comments from MassDOT staff that employees are reluctant to write down or report concerns for fear of lawsuits does not reflect MassDOT policy or my own expectations. There is zero tolerance for this behavior. You are all aware that I have been particularly focused on improving our workplace culture. Indeed, the Transportation Round Table was specifically created for this purpose, and I have reinforced this effort through visits to employees, one on one conversations, job sharing, and weekly messages to all of you over the past 19 months. Our target culture was the subject of my November 19, 2010, weekly message.
Transportation reform, in addition to saving money through greater efficiency, was and continues to be an attempt to change the culture of the organizations that make up MassDOT. The reform legislation, our union contracts, and this Administration's policy all encourage candid reporting to management and to the public, and seek to foster a workplace culture based on performance and accountability, not personal favoritism or any other irrelevant consideration.
Although I have consistently communicated this in a variety of ways, the story clearly demonstrates that we have more work to do improve the workplace culture within our organization. Our efforts will be redoubled.