Report No. 2008-61
Complete Audit Report
The following findings were included in our audit report on the City of St. Louis Board of Public Service.
The city's revised code for motor vehicle policies is outdated, and a new ordinance is needed to clarify which official, board, or department should have overall rulemaking and policy enforcement authority. The Equipment Services Division (ESD) of the Board of Public Service has not been able to complete annual vehicle assignment reports because most city departments were not providing the required information. According to ESD personnel, after two years of unresponsiveness the Mayor's office informed the ESD that this annual report was no longer necessary, and the ESD no longer attempts to obtain the information required to complete this report. This report would aid the city in determining the proper size of the city's fleet, which employees should be assigned vehicles for commuting purposes, and whether the city's vehicle costs are reasonable or whether the city should consider more affordable alternatives. In addition, there is no policy to require usage logs for city vehicles.
In April 2007, the city purchased vehicles for two newly-elected officials. The President of the Board of Aldermen received a sedan that cost $25,567, with options that included a heated leather steering wheel, heated front driver and passenger seats, a luxury package, and a comfort and convenience package. The Recorder of Deeds also received a sedan with similar options at a similar price. Many of these options appear unnecessary and would add to the price of the vehicle, and the city should consider adopting a policy to limit vehicle options to those considered reasonable and necessary.
The ESD provides fuel and vehicle maintenance services to most other city departments and incurred total expenditures of approximately $12 million for the year ended June 30, 2007. The city should establish an internal service fund for the ESD, in which the cost of providing fuel and services is billed to and paid by the applicable city departments. During the three years ended June 30, 2007, the ESD's actual expenditures exceeded budgeted amounts by a total of approximately $2 million. If the city established an internal service fund, each city department would be responsible for budgeting and paying for their share of fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses, which could provide additional assurance that fuel and vehicle maintenance costs are reasonable and necessary.
The ESD does not reconcile diesel fuel purchased to fuel used, and better security is needed over liquid inventories (such as motor oil and antifreeze) in the maintenance garages.