Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
September 25, 2001
Report No. 2001-94
State officials need more
assurances that the state�s vehicle fleet is efficiently used
This audit details the status of
statewide fleet management policies and found ample room for improvement.
Audit results were partly based on the 85 responses we received from
state entities to an audit survey and tests on a random sample of 180 vehicles
from various state entities. The
sampling was necessary because state officials do not keep one central database
with statewide vehicle information.
Number of state cars still
No one knows how many vehicles the state owns. The lack
of a centralized vehicle management database results in inconsistencies among
state entities. State entities
reported in the audit survey that they owned 15,389 vehicles. This figure includes 8,877 passenger vehicles, which became
the focus of this audit. An attempt
to reconcile these numbers with the Department of Revenue state license plate
records also showed inconsistencies. (See
State cars underutilized
About 29% of the 180 passenger cars tested by auditors
were driven less than 5,000 miles a year. Fleet
managers in other states set the benchmark mileage at no less than 15,000 miles
a year for passenger vehicles. Low
mileage is an indicator that a fleet has too many vehicles or the cars are
inefficiently used. (See page 3)
Few vehicle replacement policies exist
Nearly half of the 85 state
entities responding to the survey did not have a vehicle replacement policy,
which helps maintain a truly cost-effective fleet.
Such a policy sets a replacement threshold in an effort to obtain a
substantial return on the state�s investment and prevent excessive
maintenance. Many state entities
with replacement policies were keeping all vehicle types for at least 100,000
miles. Federal guidelines set
thresholds from 40,000 to 80,000 miles depending on the vehicle type. (See
Fleet management left up to
each state entity
State entities determine the
fleet size and how vehicles are used, assigned, maintained or replaced.
Each entity may also adopt its own record keeping system and monitoring
process. Most departments further
decentralized fleet management by division, such as the Department of Mental
Health with 25 different groups maintaining separate vehicle systems. With
no specific guidelines to follow, auditors found several examples of inadequate
management including state entities with (See page 7):
� No vehicle management policy.
No definition of personal use or appropriate incidental use of
No justification for how vehicles are assigned.
No mileage logs kept on vehicles.
No definition for allowable commuting with state cars.
No records of maintenance or repairs.
No records of vehicle operating costs.
Purchases of vehicles without proper budget authority.
Complete Audit Report