Reported in the city’s audit released two weeks after OIG (Office of Inspector General: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) issued an audit on the city’s fuel dispensing program, the city was unaware of where or when their vehicles were being used.
The lack of efficient data on the city’s assets prevented the Equipment Maintenance Division from making informed decisions. Now the EMD is uncertain on the number of vehicles, materials, or maintenance costs necessary to provide New Orleans with the aid they need.
That’s not the worst of it. There’s been inefficient fleet management over policies and procedures, which resulted in expenses piling up. From 2009 to 2014 evaluators investigated the city’s fleet management practices and found more than $60 million of city vehicles and equipment and spent approximately $12 million in the end of 2014 towards fleet maintenance.
As a result of the chaos, OIG recommends that New Orleans provide more accurate information to the EMD in order to properly oversee vehicles and equipment. To accomplish this, it recommended the city:
-Generate a list of vehicles and equipment
-Begin policies for the use of city property and track usage
-Create replacement procedure
-Enforce fleet policy with a fleet manager
New Orleans is now implementing OIG suggestions to their fleet management. Cities tackle tight budgets every year that impact law enforcement, schools, employees, and general public concerns. Every dollar counts and New Orleans will now be able to save on future costs by utilizing a GPS management solution to track and care for their equipment and vehicles.