NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Inspector General's office has released a report critical of the way the city of New Orleans operates and maintains its fleet of vehicles.
OIG evaluators examined the city's fleet management practices from 2009 through 2014 to determine whether the City had effective policies and procedures in place to manage its fleet and control the cost of operations.
The report showed that the city could not reliably produce basic information such as how many vehicles it had, how often they were used, and what types of repairs were performed.
In one case, firefighters pointed out that the doors to one truck could only be opened after the windows were rolled down the exterior door handle was used to open the door.
The city owns more than $60 million in vehicle and equipment assets including police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, garbage trucks, street sweepers, vacuum trucks, bucket trucks, and passenger vehicles. It spent approximately $12 million in 2014 on fuel, repairs, and acquisitions.
Evaluators found that the city did not:
- Have a functional fleet management information system;
- Have an accurate and reliable list of vehicles and equipment;
- Establish vehicle use standards or track vehicle use to determine the right size and make-up of the fleet;
- Ensure that vehicles received preventive maintenance at recommended intervals;
- Conduct life-cycle analyses to create vehicle replacement criteria; and
- Implement an organizational structure that supported effective fleet management.
The OIG recommended that the City should:
- Begin systematically collecting and analyzing information about its fleet;
- Ensure that it has an accurate and reliable vehicle list;
- Develop standards for vehicle and equipment use to achieve optimal fleet size;
- Establish formal preventive maintenance schedules;
- Use life-cycle analysis to create replacement criteria for vehicles and equipment; and
- Provide the incoming fleet manager with sufficient authority to oversee efficient fleet operations.
The city plans on making changes moving forward.
In a statement the city says in part, it "agrees with the OIG that these new assets along with all the others in the fleet need to be well managed, well maintained and well accounted for."