Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
Claire McCaskill


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 unclear

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 page 2)

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 page 4)

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 state cars.

        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

Missouri State Auditor's Office