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City Fleet Riddled with Fuel Fraud

May 24, 2007

Oversight of Richmond, Va.'s government vehicle fleet has caused 645 instances in which more gas was pumped at the public’s expense than the vehicle could hold, according to a detailed audit of Richmond's $22-million-a-year system for buying, maintaining and operating city vehicles, the Times-Dispatch reports. The audit also found more than 160 instances during the budget year that ended June 30 in which the same vehicle card was used for fueling multiple times in the same day. In one case more than a year ago, the card for a vehicle was used eight times in less than six hours to pump 124 gallons of gasoline.While the audit does not accuse anyone of a crime, it does conclude that the city loosened control of employee fuel use when it eliminated many city-issued personal fuel cards early last year. In doing so, the administration stopped tracking individual employee fuel use and accounted only for use by vehicle.More than a year after putting new fuel-card policies in place, Richmond still does not have a program for monitoring use, the audit said. Establishing a monitoring program is one of more than 50 changes to the system recommended in the 92-page audit.The audit does credit the city’s administration with reducing the size of the 2,700-vehicle fleet by 500 vehicles this year. The city has auctioned 443 of the vehicles, resulting in a net one-time savings of about $855,000.
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