The City’s Central Maintenance Garage. Photo via New Orleans OIG.

The City’s Central Maintenance Garage. Photo via New Orleans OIG.

The City of New Orleans does not know how many vehicles it has, how often they are used, or what types of repairs are performed on them, an audit from the city’s Office of Inspector General found. The audit was released July 13, just two weeks after the OIG released an audit on the city’s fuel dispensing program.

The OIG found that lack of information prevented the Equipment Maintenance Division from making informed decisions. This lack of data means the EMD cannot make decisions about how many vehicles are needed, whether to outsource maintenance, and when to replace vehicles.

In addition, the auditor said there was a lack of oversight related to fleet policies and procedures, and the EMD has no way to enforce policies. The fleet manager position was vacant for part of the review period, and there was no full-time manager at the Central Maintenance Garage after 2012.

The audit recommended the city provide EMD with the information, resources, and authority it needs to oversee vehicles and equipment. To do this, it recommended the city:

  • Create an accurate vehicle and equipment list
  • Develop standards for vehicle use and tracking use
  • Create replacement criteria for vehicles and equipment
  • Establish formal preventive maintenance schedules
  • Hire a fleet manager with the authority to enforce fleet policies and procedures.

Evaluators examined the city’s fleet management practices from 2009 to 2014. The city owns more than $60 million in motor vehicle and equipment assets including police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, garbage trucks, street sweepers, vacuum trucks, bucket trucks, and passenger vehicles, and spent approximately $12 million in 2014 on fleet management.

The city agreed to implement the OIG recommendations.

To view the full audit, visit the OIG website.

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