Agreed Upon Procedures Review of the City of Philadelphia’s Vehicle Use and Assignment Fiscal Year 2013


Audit Date: April 15, 2014

Audit Categories

  • Other
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Audit Tags

  • City vehicles,
  • Fleet Management,
  • Inventory,
  • Managing Director's Office (MDO)

Executive Summary


For Immediate Release
April 15, 2014

Contact: Brian Dries
215-686-8869

Butkovitz Examines City’s Fleet: Questions Usage
for Majority of Take-Home Vehicles
City Controller also finds incomplete driver’s license verifications,
minimal tracking of accidents & inadequate usage logs

Vehicle Use & Assignment – City of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released a review of the City of Philadelphia’s Vehicle Use and Assignment Policy that found 80 percent of employees who had take-home privileges in the Departments selected for review did not meet City guidelines for having the vehicle.

Of the nine City Departments selected for review, 28 of the 36 employees who had take-home privileges for city vehicles did not have documentation to demonstrate that the employees met the City’s quantifiable standard test of having been called out at least 12 times per quarter or 48 times a year. This is a pre-determined number of emergency call-outs in order to justify a take-home vehicle assignment.

“Take-home vehicles should be for employees who need to respond to emergency situations from their residence,” said Butkovitz. “The departmental appointing authorities are responsible for determining who is eligible for a take-home vehicle.”

Eighteen of the 28 vehicles assigned to employees who did not meet the City’s standard for a take-home vehicle were SUVs. A breakdown by non-compliant department and vehicle type includes the following:

Type

Department SUV Sedan Pickup Van Total
Fleet

4

1

5

Streets

3

1

1

5

L&I

2

3

5

Public Property

1

2

3

Water

8

2

10

Total

18

7

1

2

28

“These departments need to maintain documentation showing that the requirements for take-home privileges have been met,” said Butkovitz. “This includes tracking a list of the emergency call-ins for the respective employees to ensure that the standard is being met to maintain the privilege.”

Along with departments not complying with take-home privileges, the Controller’s audit found two Public Property and three Public Health employees who had two or more preventable accidents using a City vehicle. However, no evidence was provided to show that the departments had evaluated these employees for continued eligibility to drive a City vehicle as required by City policy. Parks and Recreation did not keep a tracking log for its employees’ accidents.

“Without such records, there is an increased risk of noncompliance with the City’s Vehicle Policy,” said Butkovitz. “Departments need to take the required action for individuals with two or more preventable accidents involving City vehicles.”

Other findings included:
• Parks and Recreation did not complete the City’s required driver’s license verification procedure for about 340 employees, due to a loss of data when the information was converted to a new database,
• Department usage logs did not always include the reasons for vehicle usage, written permission for vehicle usage, and/or intended destinations,
• The Managing Director’s Office, agency responsible for monitoring departmental compliance with the City’s vehicle policies, did not provide documentation to support performance of its oversight duty, and
• There has been no recent documented analysis to determine the appropriate fleet size for each city department.

“The City needs to obtain input from every department to determine what should be the appropriate fleet size,” said Butkovitz. “With a total inventory of 6,122 vehicles, there needs to be an analysis to serve as a baseline for making future decisions on vehicle fleet size. The costs and potential liabilities involved with take-home vehicles are too high to allow for lax enforcement. “

The City Departments reviewed included the following: Office of Fleet Management, Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Licenses & Inspections, Parks and Recreation, Department of Public Property, Streets Department, Water Department and the Managing Director’s Office.

To download the City Controller’s review of the City of Philadelphia’s Vehicle Use & Assignment, please visit the Controller’s website at www.philadelphiacontroller.org

###