Fuel Management

Audit Calls for San Jose to Eliminate 93 Take-Home Vehicles

October 25, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - An audit of the City of San Jose fleet found the City could save $630K annually by eliminating 93 take-home vehicles.

Dated Oct. 14, the audit's focus was on the commuting portion of City vehicle use, estimated to be 1.5 million miles, or 9 percent of total use. It concluded that "the City has allowed City employees to take home more vehicles than needed to meet its operational needs."

According to the audit, the City operates a fleet of 2,200 vehicles. A total of 166 were used as take-home vehicles in FY 2009-10, 144 of which were in use by the Police Department.

Auditors stated: "Vehicles should go home with employees only when frequently needed to address emergencies in the field requiring immediate response. However, the City lacks a defined purpose for take-home use of City vehicles and a process for consistently evaluating department justifications...The City should consider eliminating take-home use of at least 93 vehicles, which would result in the avoidance of about $630,000 in annual commuting costs."

These numbers are comprised of 90 police units (including traffic enforcement motorcycles, canine units, and MERGE units used to respond to critical incidents) and three fire department units.

Among other suggestions, the audit also recommended the City amend its vehicle policy to clearly define the purpose of take-home vehicles and restrict their use to the greatest extent possible, and add that only city employees can be assigned vehicles on a take-home basis.

The administration's response to the audit can be found here. A supplemental response was also sent to the auditor.

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