Fuel Management

New Orleans Water Board's Take-Home Vehicles Scrutinized

November 02, 2015

Many vehicle use recommendation forms were incomplete or unsigned. Image via of OIG audit
Many vehicle use recommendation forms were incomplete or unsigned. Image via of OIG audit

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans spent an excessive amount — nearly $400,000 — in fuel and repair costs for take-home vehicles in 2014, an audit from the city's Office of Inspector General (OIG) found. Costs were high because 45% of employees with take-home vehicles live outside of Orleans Parish.

Fuel cost for take-home vehicles in 2014 was $322,000 while maintenance costs were at least $72,000.

Some drivers of take-home vehicles live further than 40 miles away from the primary work site, contrary to policy. Most vehicle take-home forms were not approved or were not complete.

The agency was unable to provide an accurate count of how many times their employees responded to after-hours emergencies, even though that is the stated reason for take-home vehicles, the audit found. The board does not have a system in place to review vehicle usage. Each vehicle has a GPS unit, but the board does not use GPS to track the vehicles on a daily basis.

“The S&WB should be commended for reducing the number of take-home vehicles, re-writing the take-home vehicle use charge policy, and installing GPS tracking systems. However, the absence of oversight and significant supervision in addition to a lack of compliance with its own internal policies has exposed S&WB to potential fraud, waste, and abuse of its take-home vehicles,” the audit stated.

In 2015, S&WB reduced its take-home vehicles to 89 from 110, but the number of vehicles taken out of the parish increased to 48% of vehicles.

Also in 2015, the S&WB increased its per-day deduction of earnings from employees with take-home vehicles from $3 per day to $4.81 if residing within 20 miles of the parish boundary and $14.42 if residing further away. However, the board did not apply the new rate for months after the change.

The OIG initiated the investigation following complaints that S&WB vehicles were repeatedly driven out of the parish. Drivers were also seen and photographed using the vehicles for personal business, which is prohibited in the policy.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

FleetFAQ

Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Recent Topics

We are planning on installing CO sensors in our FORD SUV Interceptor. Looking for choices as to what seem to work best.

View Topic

Has anyone experienced any negative results from using the Valvoline Crimson automotive grease? I'm trying to decide whether or not to...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

974 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Sponsored by

Lester Landau was one of the founding members of the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) in 1957 while working as the budget director for Picker X-Ray in White Plains, N.Y.

Read more

Fuel Saving Strategies Survey

View our 2008 survey to benchmark your fleet's fuel and green strategies with other fleets.
 

Fuel Calculator

A managed fuel program can help you save time and money and gain control over the way you fuel your vehicles. Determine your potential savings by using our fuel calculator.
Launch Fuel Calculator 

Fuel Prices

U.S. Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Prices.

Launch Fuel Prices