Fuel Management

Mass. University Audit Finds Fuel Card Abuse

November 17, 2017, by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman

The audit recommended that Salem State University develop a comprehensive fuel card policy to ensure accurate and efficient use of the program. Photo via Fletcher6/Wikimedia
The audit recommended that Salem State University develop a comprehensive fuel card policy to ensure accurate and efficient use of the program. Photo via Fletcher6/Wikimedia

An audit of Massachusetts’ Salem State University (SSU) revealed that the university lacks efficient oversight of its fuel card program for university vehicles.

According to the audit, SSU issues fuel cards to specific vehicles, rather than individual employees. To use the card, employees must enter a PIN and the vehicle’s odometer reading.

During the audit period, the commonwealth's Office of the State Auditor analyzed 3,199 fuel card transactions and found 610 instances where the mileage entered was the same as the previous entry, were rounded figures, or was otherwise incorrect.

In 23 cases, the amount of fuel purchased exceeded the vehicle’s tank capacity. Other transactions showed that employees purchased premium fuel, rather than unleaded; eighteen transactions indicated diesel fuel was purchased for vehicles with gasoline engines.

The audit recommended that SSU develop a comprehensive fuel card policy to ensure accurate and efficient use of the program. It also suggested setting up usage alerts from the fuel card administrator, WEX, that include fuel type and gallons purchased per transaction.

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