GAO Flags Underused Fed Vehicles

February 10, 2016, by Thi Dao

Table courtesy of GAO.
Table courtesy of GAO.

Five federal agencies may have spent $8.7 million leasing underutilized vehicles from the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), according to a recent audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO examined federal processes for assessing the utilization of vehicles federal agencies lease from the GSA. It studied five fleets and found that all of them had some percentage of vehicles that did not meet utilization criteria and did not have readily available justifications for keeping the vehicles.

The National Park Service topped the list with 47% of its vehicles falling in this category (costing $2.9 million), while on the other end, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had 4% of its vehicles in this category (costing $0.1 million). The audit also evaluated the Air Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Veteran’s Health Administration.

“While costs paid to GSA may not equal cost savings associated with eliminating vehicles, without justifications and corrective actions, agencies could be spending millions of dollars on vehicles that may not be needed,” according to the audit.

Four of the agencies audited should ensure vehicles meet the utilization criteria or have a readily available justification document. Vehicles that are underutilized and unjustified should be reassigned or returned to the GSA, the audit found.

In another finding, the GSA fleet service representatives should better communicate with agency fleet managers and determine whether regulations should be amended to require that vehicle justifications are clearly documented and readily available.

Agencies mostly agreed with the recommendations and have either taken steps or plan to take steps to address the concerns brought up in the audit. In FY-2014, federal agencies spent $1.03 billion to lease 186,000 vehicles.


  1. 1. Kevin [ February 10, 2016 @ 01:49PM ]

    I'd like to see the source data for this study. Was it GSA's? Was it one of the agencies or a combo? Each agency has differing criteria for utilization. Additionally GSA costing models are at best thin on accurate forecast and data on actual cost for total vehicle life cycle in gathering cost on utilizations and operation costs. GSA utilization rates are much hire than most agencies they lease under. They also get total funding for there directed mileage requirements regardless is the vehicle achieves the mileage. While this is incentive for the leasing agency to make sure they get what they for, it doesn't allow for variances. They function like a business when most agency's cannot. GSA is also not an ideal solution for a lot of other OGA. They have there place but there are many in which they are not a good fit.

  2. 2. Thi Dao [ March 09, 2016 @ 09:18AM ]

    It seems they are using both agency requirements and Federal Property Management Regulations for utilization. Table 4 on page 23 of the full report has more details. http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674654.pdf


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