After a series of studies into the West Virginia state fleet, auditors found that little has changed, and the Fleet Management Office still lacks key data to manage the fleet.
Over the past year, the West Virginia Legislative Auditor has conducted a series of investigations into the state fleet, which is managed by individual agencies. Some agencies report numbers to the state’s Fleet Management Office, but others do not, which has led to confusion around the fleet.
Following initial reports, several state agencies announced cuts to their fleets. But fleet data analyzed through the end of June 2017 found that, as a whole, little has changed in the West Virginia fleet. The biggest challenge in identifying fleet problems was the lack of available data. Not all agencies are required to report data to the Fleet Management Office, so not all agencies keep track of it. Based on the latest report, the Fleet Management Office still lacks mileage data for 790 vehicles.
In late 2016, the West Virginia Legislative Auditor’s Post Audit Division tried and failed to determine an accurate vehicle count for the state fleet. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced cuts to his office’s vehicle fleet shortly after taking office in January and vowed to examine state spending. He also proposed legislation to broaden the state’s Fleet Management Office, create a centralized inventory of all state vehicles, and create a state motor pool.
Additional reports from the Post Audit Division found that 42% of state vehicles did not meet minimum mileage requirements, the state’s utilization requirements are higher than 10 other states surveyed, and 69% of state agencies did not have written fleet policies.
The latest report shows that 53% of reviewed vehicles still do not meet the minimum mileage requirement and, although requests for exemption from the rule have increase, it is still insufficient. In addition, the Post Audit Division found that West Virginia is in a minority of states that not only allows commuting in fleet vehicles, but also includes commuting miles in the calculation of vehicle utilization.
The Legislative Auditor recommended that state agencies evaluate fleet vehicles and request exemptions to the utilization minimum as necessary. The West Virginia Legislature was asked to consider a statutory change to require all state spending units report data to the Fleet Management Office. The Fleet Management Office agreed with these recommendations, but disagreed with the suggestion to exclude commuting miles in the monthly mileage calculations, noting that the office would still require these figures when considering maintenance schedules. If enacted, this would require agencies to submit two separate reports: one for business miles and one for total miles.
Click here to read the full audit.