Waste Watch: Audit report shows more major problems with management of WV state fleet

A West Virginia audit report shows more major problems with the  management of the state's vehicle fleet. (WCHS/WVAH)

Yet another audit of the West Virginia state fleet system shows glaring deficiencies which could be costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

A representative of the Legislative Auditor's office delivers more bad news to senators and delegates serving on the Post-Audit Committee. The Performance Evaluation and Research Division asked 93 to produce their written policies covering fleet optimization, commuting and maintenance. Of the 88 agencies which responded, 61 of them, nearly 70%. did not provide any written policies. That may be because state law doesn't require them.

"Most agencies don't have policies," Aaron Allred, WV Legislative Auditor said. "And we think it's important. Like on commuting, you need to define when someone can use a state vehicle to commute. And without doing that, vehicles are probably being misused."

Five agencies didn't even answer the request. The West Virginia State Police, treasurer's office, Human Rights Commission, Regional Education Service Agencies and West Virginia State University provided auditors with nothing. A delegate leading the charge for more efficient fleet management says the latest report is confirmation the system needs fixed.

"Right now at a purchase price, and we don't really know, somewhere probably about a hundred million dollars worth of cars have been purchased," Delegate Gary Howell, (R) Mineral said. "And for the previous report that said 42.4% of them are not meeting the minimum requirements, that could be a $50 million dollar savings to the taxpayers of this state. That's what it means to the people of this state."

Delegate Howell says he's hopeful that lawmakers will pass a bill in the upcoming session which will better define the state fleet and give directives about how vehicles can be used. A similar proposal passed in the house last session but died in the senate.

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