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Audit hits city's management of auto fleet as weak, inadequate


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POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009

The city's management of its passenger vehicles—sedans, pickup trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles—is inadequate, with “;weak oversight”; of purchasing practices and no policy on replacing vehicles, according to a report by the city auditor.

The audit, released Friday, says poor management practices in the Department of Facilities Maintenance have resulted in the department having an aging fleet that does not meet goals the City Council set for achieving a more efficient fleet of hybrid vehicles.

“;We found that the city lacks a formal fleet management plan,”; said the report by Auditor Leslie Tanaka. “;A fleet management plan identified key vehicle management areas such as administration, acquisition, maintenance, replacement and reporting requirements.”;

Among other findings, the auditor said employees were being allowed to take home city owned-vehicles without proper authorization and that the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services was improperly assessing taxable benefits for employees with take-home vehicle privileges.

Responding to the audit, Jeoffrey Cudiamat, director of facility maintenance, said the findings may be “;overstated”; because the analysis was limited to only passenger vehicles and not the entire fleet.

               

     

 

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        » The auditor's report can be found online at hsblinks.com/103

“;In addition, the report does not acknowledge steps that the city has already taken to address many of the findings of this report,”; Cudiamat wrote in a letter to Tanaka.

In the 2007 fiscal year, the city reported that it owned 2,218 vehicles and motorized equipment valued at $348 million.

The auditor opted to review only the 949 passenger vehicles under the Department of Facility Maintenance jurisdiction because no comparable study had been conducted previously and because passenger vehicles are at greater risk for abuse.

One of the audit's primary recommendations was for the city to consider aligning all management responsibilities for its vehicle fleet under one agency.

It also recommended that the department develop a comprehensive fleet management plan to include possible standardized fleet specifications, replacement policies, benchmarks, evaluation requirements and other industry-recommended practices.