HELENA, MT - A recent audit uncovered potential for abuse of Montana state fuel cards and is prompting further investigation by state officials, according to BusinessWeek.

The Legislative Audit Division reported its analysis found several suspicious situations, including:

  • More gasoline purchased in one stop than the maximum fuel tank capacity of the assigned state vehicle.
  • Personal vehicles filled using fuel cards, despite the state's reimbursement on a mileage basis.
  • Diesel fuel purchased even though the Montana State Motor Pool does not have any diesel vehicles.

The Department of Administration, reported BusinessWeek, said it would follow audit recommendations to come up with a statewide policy that closes potential areas of abuse, or at least creates better monitoring systems to catch it.

According to BusinessWeek, auditors found about 8,400 fuel cards in use, and pointed out cards should be assigned to each vehicle rather than to individual employees.

Employees were sometimes wasting money by buying premium fuel for state vehicles that run on regular. And the auditors said some state fuel tanks in remote areas are unlocked and could be used by anyone with little control.

Auditors even found a case where a fuel card was used by someone who no longer works for state government, reported BusinessWeek.