Government Fleet Top News

Pittsburgh City Audit Says $5 Million Needed to Pay Fleet Outsourcing Company

September 27, 2006

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh must find more than $5 million by 2008 to pay a private company that manages the city’s fleet, according to a city controller’s audit, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The three-year contract with Cincinnati-based First Vehicle Services began in Feb. 2005 and called for the city to pay the company $11.7 million. But a cost proposal by the company attached to the contract estimated costs would total $17.1 million by 2008 — a difference of $5.4 million.The city must find $2.5 million in 2007 and $1.5 million in 2008 because it did not set aside enough money when city council approved the contract. Halfway through the contract, the city has paid First Vehicle $7.5 million, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.Jason Stack, a region manager for First Vehicle, criticized how the audit was done, saying the auditors relied on less than a year’s worth of data — Feb. 2005 to Jan. 2006 — which is too short a time to draw any conclusions.Privatizing the city’s fleet maintenance was supposed to save the city millions of dollars over three years, but Pokora said the city won’t see a significant savings, a claim Stack denies, according to the news report.The audit criticizes First Vehicle’s performance but does not compare it to how the garage operated before privatization. The audit said First Vehicle keeps poor records on how long mechanics take to repair vehicles; city vehicles have required too many repeat repairs, including a 2003 police car that had 15 tires replaced in 11 months; and repairs are being made to vehicles well past their useful lifespan.

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