DENVER– An audit conducted by the City and County of Denver’s Auditor’s Office recommends that the Denver International Airport (DIA) improve oversight and internal controls for the airport’s fleet of more than 1,800 ground vehicles. The main areas the report identified as needing improvement and oversight include record-keeping, take-home vehicle use, fuel access, and utilization.

DIA's Deputy Manager of Aviation for Facilities Management David LaPorte issued a response to the the recommendations where he agreed with them and detailed the changes DIA plans to make or is already making.

To start, the audit report acknowledged that the airport began addressing these issues in July, 2012, after the organization hired a new Director of Fleet Maintenance. Recent changes include creating stronger internal controls and improving oversight. The report added that the new director will hire analysts to fill two new positions in order to help improve management oversight and improve controls.

With regard to the suggested changes, the report says DIA should review the list of take-home vehicles to determine whether they are being used for business purposes and whether those using the vehicles live 25 miles away or less. DIA agreed with this recommendation and has already had a meeting with senior staff to evaluate the airport’s take-home vehicle policy.

Regarding fuel use, the report said DIA needs to better manage activation and deactivation of user accounts, develop a standardized activation form, and establish criteria for determining whether fuel use is irregular. DIA agreed with these recommendations and plans to audit current users to find discrepancies or other irregularities. The report also said DIA should monitor fuel used by third-party vendors at DIA fueling stations.

The report next recommended that DIA conduct a fleet utilization review to help develop formal vehicle replacement program criteria. DIA agreed and said a program is in progress to identify underutilized vehicles and determine whether vehicle use is justified or not. DIA is also implementing agency manager authorizations for future purchases.

Other recommendations in the report involve improving record-keeping, for example vehicle purchases and maintenance records, developing a vehicle accident policy to ensure accidents are reported in a timely manner, have fleet maintenance evaluate the costs of providing services to other DIA departments to determine whether implementing internal billing makes sense, and seeking out potential grant opportunities. DIA agreed with these recommendations and is developing related programs and reports.