The City of Chicago Fleet & Facility Management (2FM) is making a number of improvements after an audit found that the department does not have accurate data to determine whether it meets the industry standard of 95% availability for its 3,000-plus police vehicles in 2017. The city’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the report in September.
Auditors stated that fleet management did not maintain up to date information regarding the hours each vehicle was expected to be available for use, and settings in the fleet management system created inaccurate data regarding when some vehicles are available.
Additionally, the audit stated that only 12.9% of preventive maintenance was performed in a timely manner in 2017. This was primarily because fleet management took an average of 68 days after vehicles were due for maintenance to inform drivers, and officers delivered vehicles an average of 13 days after receiving the requests.
Auditors recommended that fleet management works with the Chicago Police Department to improve communication and cooperation regarding fleet, including obtaining the data needed to track vehicle availability and improving the accuracy of data on vehicle downtime.
In a response in the report, fleet management stated that data quality has been improved to calculate availability, adjusted staffing to meet maintenance demand, and management is working closely with CPD on information sharing and operational collaboration. However, the department added that it will be unable to meet a 95% on-time maintenance target unless front-line patrol cars are replaced more frequently, requiring three times the current funding for police purchases, and unless it can hire an increase in technicians of 20%.
Fleet management is working with CPD and a third-party data vendor to provide data reports that are used to calculate fuel economy, miles driven between refueling, and shop downtime, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. Additionally, it is documenting shop hours and vehicle hours of operation and resolving an issue related to closing work orders.
“2FM is to be lauded for its proactivity in welcoming OIG’s independent review and its ensuing effort to promptly implement our recommendations, improving its communication with CPD to assure that appropriate information-sharing and operational collaboration is occurring,” Inspector General Joe Ferguson said in a release.
View the full audit here.