• This page, MWRTA Did Not Properly Document the Use of Its Non-Revenue-Producing Vehicles by Its Employees, is offered by
  • Office of the State Auditor

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

Audit found that the MWRTA 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

MWRTA 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 MWRTA records, its four non-revenue-producing vehicles were driven a combined total of 81,813 and 40,060 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

MWRTA’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 MassDOT’s 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 MWRTA is not required to follow this policy, it represents a best practice in vehicle fleet management that MWRTA should follow because it will allow the agency to more effectively manage the maintenance and proper use of these vehicles.

Reasons for Noncompliance

MWRTA management stated that the agency had an informal policy, verbally communicated to all staff members, that required individuals to request the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles from MWRTA’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. MWRTA does not have policies and procedures in place for the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles or monitoring of that use.

Recommendations

1. MWRTA 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. MWRTA should ensure that these policies and procedures include monitoring controls to ensure that they are adhered to.

Auditee’s Response

MWRTA indicated in a letter to OSA that, based on our audit finding, it had developed a formal policy on the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles for its employees. It gave us a copy of this policy.

Auditor’s Reply

We believe that the measures MWRTA has taken in response to our finding partially address our recommendations. However, the policy that the agency gave us did not require the establishment of a log to document information on the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles. Therefore, we again urge MWRTA to include this requirement in its policy.

Date published: June 19, 2018
Feedback