LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles’ City Controller Wendy Greuel released an audit of the City’s fuel use, finding $7 million in unrecorded fuel expenses. The City purchases 13.8 million gallons of gasoline annually at a cost of $28.6 million. Gruel’s audit found that $7 million in fuel transactions did not have any associated information identifying each vehicle receiving fuel or any reasons for the fuel purchases.

Gruel’s department said this issue occurred despite the use of a $12 million tracking system that the City purchased more than 10 years prior to this audit. She said the current system allows too many opportunities to bypass its use entirely. According to the audit, system overrides accounted for nearly $4 million in transactions during the audit period.

Gruel’s recommendations focus on better controls and recordkeeping. The first is to establish a “Fuel Task Force” in the City’s General Services Department that will develop guidelines for controlling and monitoring fuel use. Other recommendations include maintaining logs at each City fuel site to record information related to fuel dispensed using bypass modes and master cars; to conduct regular, department-wide physical inventories of fuel cards; and to maintain logs to record fuel dispensed from above ground tanks (currently unrecorded).

She also urged the City to hold hearings on this issue.