RICHMOND, VA – Oversight of Richmond’s government vehicle fleet is so lax that someone charged almost 45 gallons of gasoline for a car with a 16-gallon tank, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That’s just one of 645 instances in which someone pumped more gas at public expense than the vehicle could hold, according to a detailed audit of Richmond’s $22-million-a-year system for buying, maintaining, and operating city vehicles.
The audit also identifies almost $4.4 million in potential savings to taxpayers, mostly by buying four-cylinder vehicles instead of more powerful and expensive models, and outsourcing the fleet management program to a private company. Restricting the use of premium fuel to police motorcycles would save the city thousands of dollars a year.
The audit does credit the administration with reducing the size of the 2,700-vehicle fleet by 500 vehicles this year. The city has auctioned 443 of the vehicles, resulting in a net one-time savings of about $855,000, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.