COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost released a performance audit of the City of Cincinnati Public Services Department (PSD) on July 24, finding that the cepartment “follows leading practices” in fuel purchasing but recommending that it outsource solid waste collection and street sweeping work.

The audit report commended the city’s fuel purchasing practices. Auditors compared three months of fuel invoices in 2011 with invoices provided by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (ODAS) consortium. Auditors found that Cincinnati PSD paid on average $3.20 per gallon of diesel in comparison to the $3.30 paid by members of the ODAS consortium. The City paid $2.97 per gallon for diesel fuel, nine cents less than the $3.06 ODAS average price. Using estimated numbers of 127,270 gallons of diesel purchase in 2011 and 169,824 gallons of unleaded fuel in 2011 (as estimated at the time of audit), the PSD expects to spend $28,000 less in fuel purchases than through the ODAS consortium. The City was also commended for purchasing salt for $28 less per ton than salt purchased through the ODAS consortium.

The audit stated that the City could reduce expenditures for solid waste collection by at least $1.098 million by outsourcing the function, not including the one-time cash flow from sale of vehicles, equipment, and real estate. For street sweeping, the audit stated the City could save $933,4000 annually by outsourcing the function. The City currently pays a vendor $24.67 per curb mile on average for sweeping, while its own average cost per curb mile is $179.38. City crews use four sweeping vehicles, leased until May 2014 with a present payoff value of $264,000 and salvage value of $100,000.

The draft report was presented to the City on June 28. The City stated it had no response.

Read the full audit here. In May, the auditor released a report stating that state agencies should stop using biodiesel in their fleet vehicles.