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LRTA Did Not Properly Document the Use of Its Non-Revenue-Producing Vehicles by Its Employees.

Audit found that the LRTA did not properly document vehicle information, which creates a greater risk of vehicles being used for non-business purposes without detection.

Table of Contents

Overview

LRTA did not properly document the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles. Specifically, it did not properly document information such as the name and driver’s license expiration date of the employee who used the vehicle, the trip’s intended destination and purpose, the date and time the vehicle was picked up, the date and time it was returned, its license plate number, its description, its beginning odometer reading, its condition before and after use, any damage, and any maintenance issues identified during use, for every trip for all of its non-revenue-producing vehicles. According to LRTA records, its four non-revenue-producing vehicles were driven a combined total of 37,921 and 30,248 miles during fiscal years 2016 and 2017, respectively. As a result of the lack of monitoring of use, there is a higher-than-acceptable risk that these vehicles may be used for non-business purposes without detection.

Authoritative Guidance

LRTA’s oversight agency, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), has a Motor Vehicles Policy, No. P-D0032-01, dated October 5, 2016, regarding the use of MassDOT’s non-revenue-producing vehicles by its staff. This policy requires MassDOT management to maintain a log that documents the name and driver’s license expiration date of the employee who used the vehicle, the trip’s intended destination and purpose, the date and time the vehicle was picked up, the date and time it was returned, its license plate number, its description, its beginning odometer reading, its condition before and after use, any damage, and any maintenance issues identified during use. Although LRTA is not required to follow this policy, it represents a best practice in vehicle fleet management that LRTA should follow because it will allow the agency to more effectively manage the maintenance and proper use of these vehicles.  

Reasons for Noncompliance

LRTA management stated that the agency had an informal policy, verbally communicated to all staff members, that required employees to request the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles from LRTA’s fleet director. They said they believed that the vehicles were adequately safeguarded from potential misuse because the fleet director was the only staff member who had the keys when employees asked to sign out the non-revenue-producing vehicles. LRTA does not have policies and procedures in place for the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles or the monitoring of that use.

Recommendations

  1. LRTA should establish policies and procedures, consistent with those established by MassDOT, for its non-revenue-producing vehicles that require a log that documents the following:

    a.  the name and driver’s license expiration date of the employee who used the vehicle

    b.  the date and time the vehicle was picked up

    c.  the date and time the vehicle was returned

    d.  the vehicle’s license plate number

    e.  the vehicle description

    f.   the intended destination and purpose

    g.  the beginning odometer reading

    h.  the condition of the vehicle before and after use

    i.   any damage

    j.   any maintenance issues identified during use

     
  2. LRTA should ensure that these policies and procedures include monitoring controls to ensure that they are adhered to.

Auditee's Response

The LRTA will develop a policy and procedure manual for the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles. The LRTA recognizes the importance of this policy and procedure manual to improve transparency and accountability in its daily operations.

The LRTA policy and procedure manual will incorporate best practices from other RTAs and MassDOT. At the same time, it will be tailored to the non-revenue-producing vehicles of the LRTA. This policy and procedure manual will include a log for those non-revenue-producing vehicles requiring such. This log will include all pertinent information regarding use, operator, and required vehicle information.

The LRTA policy and procedure manual will include monitoring controls to ensure compliance.

Auditor's Reply

Based on its response, LRTA is taking measures to address our concerns in this area.

Date published: July 23, 2018
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