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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Clarence – Controls Over Fuel and Vehicle Fleet Management (2013M-312)


Released: February 14, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate controls over fuel and the management of the Town’s vehicle fleet for the period January 1, 2012 through September 18, 2013.

Background

The Town of Clarence is located in Erie County and has a population of approximately 30,000 residents. The Town is governed by a five-member elected Board comprised of a Supervisor and four Council members. For the 2013 fiscal year, budgeted appropriations totaled approximately $21.3 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not ensure that fuel supplies in the parks department were adequately safeguarded and properly accounted for. In addition, the fuel monitoring system in the highway department is not being used to its fullest capabilities. Employee and vehicle information are not identified within the system and the odometer reading is not a required entry when dispensing fuel. The Town paid approximately $1,870 more than necessary for unleaded fuel purchased by the parks department. We found no evidence of inappropriate fuel use in either department.
  • The Board has not established a fleet management policy or conducted a needs assessment to determine if the vehicles in the Town’s fleet are being utilized effectively. We found that not all vehicles are being fully utilized, and the Town may achieve savings by considering other alternatives, such as reimbursing employees for mileage, or establishing a pool of vehicles to be shared by multiple departments rather than assigning vehicles to individual employees.

Key Recommendations

  • Require parks employees dispensing fuel to document each transaction in a log. Regularly compare documented amounts to the master meter readings to ensure fuel dispensed according to the log agrees with meter readings. Combine the fuel needs of the highway and parks departments, and purchase all fuel from the vendor providing the best total price.
  • Establish a comprehensive vehicle fleet policy. Ensure that a needs assessment is prepared for its consideration prior to authorizing the purchase of vehicles or equipment. Examine other alternatives to reducing the fleet, such as sharing vehicles between departments or reimbursing employees for business use of their personal vehicles.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236