NY Audit Says Town of Amherst Should Consider Fleet Consolidation

October 07, 2013

In a financial and fleet management audit by the State of New York Office of the State Comptroller, auditors said the Town of Amherst did not have an effective fleet management system, including written policies and procedures regarding acquisition of new or replacement vehicles. Auditors also found the town does not consistently maintain repair, maintenance, usage, or fuel costs. In response, the Town’s comptroller said each department is responsible for its own fleet, but the Town would consider making recommended changes as a result of the audit.

Auditors reviewed fleet operations for the Police, Highway, and Engineering departments, each of which have their own maintenance facilities and employees. Auditors suggested the Town develop a comprehensive fleet management system that includes guidelines for vehicle acquisition, replacement, and disposal; establishment of formal preventive maintenance schedules; and cost documentation for all vehicles. They further suggested the Town evaluate whether consolidating maintenance would produce cost savings; improve fuel tracking and ensure reconciliation to improve fuel accountability; and implement some of the fleet management practices used by the Engineering Department, which auditors said had “the most comprehensive system for tracking vehicle maintenance and repair costs.”

Auditors said that if Town employees improved its record-keeping procedures, officials might be able to identify cost-savings measures.

Town Comptroller Darlene Carroll generally disagreed with the financial findings, calling the language used in the report “inaccurate and misleading,” but stated that officials would consider how to improve its fleet management processes and documentation based on the recommendations. She further stated that the Town reviews “each vehicle purchase on a case by case basis" and bases purchasing and disposal decisions on the specific circumstances of each. Each department is responsible for its own fleet.

The audit covered the period between Jan. 1, 2011 to May 8, 2013. The final audit with responses is dated October 2013. For a PDF of the full audit and responses, visit the NY State Comptroller’s Office website.

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