Government Fleet Top News

Illinois Secretary of State Office Criticized on Use of Cars

May 18, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Secretary of State Jesse White's office issued 82 state vehicles to employees for full-time use but couldn't show why they were needed, according to an audit released on May 7, according to the Associated Press.Auditor General William Holland also criticized the handling of driving records at the agency. Internally, employee accidents were not reported quickly, and cars belonging to the agency motor pool were kept by employees for as long as eight months, he said.In one case, according to Holland, a private secretary from Centralia had a personally assigned vehicle for driving to her job in Springfield, about 100 miles away.David Druker, a spokesman for White, said the secretary no longer has the vehicle she drove to car dealers and agency sites to explain a new program. He said she probably didn't realize she was supposed to fill out paperwork documenting her trips.Over the last year, White ordered the return of the 82 cars, which had been given to top administrators, and reissued 42 cars to employees who are regularly on the road, such as auditors, securities investigators, and members of the inspector general's office, Druker said.Holland reviewed 10 accidents with secretary of state cars and found that six had not been reported within the required seven days to the Department of Central Management Services. The delays ranged from five to 124 days.Druker said all the accidents had been reported to police, but that drivers likely didn't know they had to report them internally as well.Holland found that two employees had taken cars from the agency motor pool, meant to be signed out for short periods, and kept them for as long as eight months.

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