A fleet audit by the Allegheny County (Pa.) controller reveals gaps in data, lack in oversight, and vehicle misuse, according to a release from the controller’s office.
Controller Chelsa Wagner recommended the county maintain an accurate, up-to-date list of all owned and leased vehicles as well as driver information. She said the county should adopt a stringent log policy to ensure that vehicles are properly tracked, and managers should review logs on a monthly basis, at a minimum.
The audit states the county should improve its internal controls involving fuel cards, suggesting that employees should submit fuel card log sheets and receipts to Public Works, create a fuel card inventory list and monitor it, and remove terminated employees from the user list.
An employee of First Vehicle Services, the maintenance provider for county vehicles had been charged with theft for his fraudulent use of a county gas card, totaling at least $7,600. Previously, the controller’s office had accused the county executive of misusing his fleet vehicle, and he submitted $42,737 for this use and returned his county-issued vehicle.
The audit also recommended that employees update technology to include an automated fuel tracking system, better track fuel before and after deliveries, and install cameras at the 13 fueling locations throughout the county.
Finally, the audit found that the county did not receive gas tax credits totaling $74,485 for 2013 and the first nine months of 2014. The audit said employees should try to recoup this money as well as tax credits dating back to 2010.
An internal draft of the audit is being reviewed by administration, and a final audit will be released in two to three weeks with responses.
The controller will follow up with how the county is addressing these problems in six months, and her office will conduct a full audit in the future of the county’s maintenance contract with First Vehicle Services. Each year, the county spends approximately $4 million in vehicle costs and maintenance.