An audit of the City of San Diego, Calif., Fleet Operations Department’s vehicle acquisition process found that the department can make its vehicle acquisition process more efficient and can improve the use of its fleet management system to use it to its full potential.

The Office of the City Auditor conducted the audit using data from FY-2016 and FY-2017. It found that Fleet Operations does not have a process in place to routinely evaluate the timeliness of the acquisition process and it cannot evaluate delays in the process. The auditor recommended that Fleet Operations set performance goals for acquisition time based on vehicle class, establish policies and procedures to track and monitor acquisition time for vehicles, and define roles and responsibilities for city departments involved in the vehicle acquisition process.

The auditor also found that fleet management is not using its asset management system (FleetFocus EAM) to its full potential and has not fully implemented the modules it has purchased. Recommendations for improvement include: utilizing FleetFocus EAM to the greatest extent possible for project tracking, customer communications, and acquisition planning; hiring a staff member to administer the software; and developing policies and procedures for FleetFocus data collection.

Fleet Operations agreed with all audit recommendations and has already begun making improvements to its acquisition process. Fleet management has been working on improvements since fiscal-year 2015, said Alia Khouri, director of Fleet Operations.

“Significant improvements have been made in the past three years, notably the availability and readiness of vehicles has increased by over 100 vehicles [and] Fleet Operations has already met and exceeded greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for fiscal year 2020 as outlined in the city’s Climate Action Plan by switching to renewable diesel,” Khouri stated via e-mail. “Also, through a focus on vehicle acquisitions, Fleet Operations has reduced the number of over-aged vehicles in service by over 10%. In addition, Fleet Operations has brought back the apprentice program after more than a decade without one to better ensure a strong workforce. We appreciate the auditor’s recommendations and have agreed to implement them for further process improvements.”

The City of San Diego fleet consists of 4,200 pieces of equipment, managed and maintained by a staff of approximately 200. Fleet Operations ordered approximately 400 vehicles and pieces of equipment during FY-2016 and FY-2017.

For the full audit, visit the City of San Diego website.

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