A new report from the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) says the federal agency should eliminate 511 out of a total of 774 non-tactical vehicles in the department’s fleet. The DOD agencies could save $7.2 million annually over the next six years by eliminating the vehicles, according to the report.
The agencies ended up with the extra vehicles because of a general lack of oversight of staff vehicles, the report stated. The Navy, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), and Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) did not review annual mileage for staff vehicles, according to the report, and Navy, DLA, and WHS fleet managers didn’t maintain adequate daily mileage logs. The report added that DLA and WHS did not centrally manage their fleets.
Out of the 511 vehicles the report identified as excess, employees of the DOD agencies had driven 89 of them less than 1,000 miles each, and those vehicles had an annual base lease cost of $1.2 million. In addition, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and PFPA did not establish guidelines for usage of 335 law enforcement vehicles.
The report detailed which agencies and vehicles did not review annual mileage. The Navy, DLA, PFPA, and WHS didn’t review annual mileage for 774 staff vehicles, with fleet managers at four commands not reviewing 584 vehicles, the DLA not reviewing 34 staff vehicles, the PFPA not reviewing 65 staff vehicles, and the WHS not reviewing 91 staff vehicles.
Factors contributing to this lack of oversight include staffing shortages and turnover, a lack of authority to enforce requirements to conduct annual reviews and maintain daily mileage logs, and a failure to prioritize identifying under-utilized vehicles, the report stated.
The report’s recommendations to DOD department heads include eliminating or justifying the use of vehicles identified as excess, reviewing annual mileage of non-tactical vehicles, and establishing procedures for collecting daily mileage information from drivers. The directors of the NCIS and PFPA should establish guidelines for staff use of law enforcement vehicles, the report added.