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Utility Employees Found Using Fleet Vehicles for Personal Use

December 27, 2016

Several San Diego utility workers used fleet vehicles for personal use, according to a new report from the City Auditor's office. The investigation began after the Office of the City Auditor received two anonymous reports that a Public Utilities Department employee was using a city vehicle for personal purposes.

The auditor's office found that six public utilities employees, including two managers, used the city vehicles for personal purposes between October 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. In that time frame, the vehicles were used for personal purposes a combined total of 1,151 hours and 56 minutes. One employee used a fleet vehicle during paid time off for sick and vacation leave.

Although city fleet vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking devices, the use of GPS vehicle data is restricted. The city cannot use GPS data to monitor employee activity on a routine basis. Also, the Public Utilities Department does not require any formal schedules or daily activity reports, which makes it difficult to track activity.

The report recommended that the department conduct a fact-finding investigation to determine whether city policies were violated by other employees and review its internal controls to ensure compliance. The auditor's office also recommended that the city determine whether to recover lost wages, evaluate the tax consequences, and how to use the GPD system to monitor compliance.

Read the full audit here.

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