Government Fleet Top News

Audit Finds Problems in Va. City's Fuel and Purchasing Policies

October 4, 2017

Photo of the Petersburg City Courthouse via Flickr/Taber Andrew Bain
Photo of the Petersburg City Courthouse via Flickr/Taber Andrew Bain

A forensic audit of the City of Petersburg, Va., identified systemic problems with the way with city manages purchasing card usage, fuel diversion, and theft/misuse of assets.

The audit was conducted by an outside consultant with the purpose of identifying holes in the city’s internal controls, rather than investigating specific abuses. The auditor found misconduct was probable in several areas, including fuel purchases.

The city uses a purchasing card with a $2,500 limit on purchases. But the auditors found employees would split up large purchases over several transactions to stay under the limit. In another case, employees took their vehicles in for service, stopped for a meal, and filed both purchases under vehicle repairs. The audit recommends blocking certain merchants to avoid abuse, such as liquor, gambling, and credit card accounts.

Inconsistencies in the city’s fuel program were also noted. The data collected was not clean, with duplicate users and inconsistent records, making it difficult to analyze. The audit recommended that each employee assigned a vehicle records dates and times, odometer readings, and gallons purchased at every refueling. A few users accounted for a significant amount of fuel, and the audit recommended supervisors regularly monitor fuel purchases for inconsistencies.

Click here to view the full audit.

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