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

Audit found that VTA 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

VTA 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 VTA records, its 12 non-revenue-producing vehicles were driven a combined total of 52,891 and 60,924 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

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

Reasons for Noncompliance

VTA 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 VTA’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. VTA does not have formal policies and procedures in place for the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles or the monitoring of that use.

Recommendations

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

Auditee’s Response

VTA will revise its policy and procedures for the oversight and use of its non-revenue vehicles to incorporate best practices from other RTAs and MassDOT. At the same time, they will be tailored to the VTA. The revised policies and procedures will include a log for those non-revenue vehicles requiring such. This log will include all pertinent information regarding use, operator, and vehicles. VTA’s revised policies and procedures will include monitoring controls to ensure compliance. The development of this log will be consistent with our policies and oversight responsibilities.

Auditor’s Reply

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

Date published: October 10, 2018
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