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Audit Shows Colorado Springs Utilities Didn't Follow Vehicle Policy

October 3, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Colorado Springs Utilities ignored its own policies for vehicles driven to and from work by employees, according to a city audit, The Gazette said. The auditors found an undocumented and inconsistent take-home vehicle system that lacked a centralized and comprehensive list of the City-owned agency’s vehicles.

The audit didn’t report how many vehicles utilities has or how many are included in the take-home program, because auditors weren’t given reliable figures, City Auditor Jeff Litchfield said.

Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman said in a written statement that the agency’s 1,570-vehicle fleet includes 107 take-home vehicles. He said utilities welcomes audits, which lead to better practices. But he stressed that utilities did not ignore its policies.

The audit is the second scathing review within a week for utilities, the city’s largest enterprise with an annual budget of nearly $1 billion.

The audit spanned Oct. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2006. The audit also found:

  • Top utilities officials didn’t review and evaluate who has vehicles, how much they drive them, and other usage issues.

  • Commuter miles weren’t always reported to the IRS for tax purposes. The federal government considers commuter miles in company vehicles a taxable benefit. Also, personal miles were rarely documented as policies require.

  • At least a dozen workers used take-home vehicles in violation of a policy that dictates they live within the utilities service area. The policy states that workers who accept positions that require them to take home Utilities vehicles will be given a five-month grace period to move into the service territory.
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