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

Audit found that NRTA 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

NRTA 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 NRTA records, its five non-revenue-producing vehicles were driven a combined total of 25,364 and 22,173 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

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

Reasons for Noncompliance

NRTA has a Vehicles Policy, dated May 2014, for the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles by its staff. However, this policy does not require NRTA to maintain a log that documents the use of these vehicles. Further, NRTA does not have formal policies and procedures in place for monitoring the use of the vehicles.

NRTA officials 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 NRTA’s fleet director. These officials added that 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.

Recommendations

  1. NRTA 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 trip’s 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. NRTA should ensure that these policies and procedures include monitoring controls to ensure that they are adhered to.

Auditee’s Response

The NRTA has a vehicle use policy for its (5) non-revenue vehicles that are utilized by (7) managers, the mechanic and bus stop monitor to perform their duties related to operations and management of the NRTA’s fixed route service. The NRTA will revise its current policy and procedures to include monitoring controls and a log for the vehicles requiring such and will be consistent with the policy.

Auditor’s Reply

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

Date published: October 2, 2018
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