Department of Assets, Infrastructure and Services’ Maintenance of Police Vehicles Follow-Up Inquiry

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a follow-up to its September 2019 Audit of the Department of Fleet and Facility Management’s (2FM) maintenance of police vehicles. Based on its responses, OIG concludes that 2FM, which is now part of the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS), has fully implemented three out of six audit recommendations, substantially implemented one, partially implemented one, and not implemented one.

The purpose of the 2019 audit was to determine whether 2FM met the industry standard of at least 95% fleet availability. “Availability” is a fleet management performance measure that compares the number of hours a vehicle is expected to be available for use (e.g., eight hours a day) to the actual number of hours it is available. Low vehicle availability could hinder police response and operations, negatively impacting the safety of officers and the public. Our audit found that 2FM could not determine whether it met the industry standard of at least 95% fleet availability because it lacked accurate data, and that 2FM did not perform most preventive maintenance in a timely manner.

Based on the results of the audit, OIG recommended several corrective steps for 2FM to address the data errors that hindered accurate determination of fleet availability. We also recommended that the Department analyze its operations to determine if additional resources were needed. Finally, we recommended that 2FM improve communication with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to facilitate reaching its preventive maintenance goals. In its response to the audit, 2FM described corrective actions it would take.

In September 2020, OIG inquired about the status of corrective actions taken by AIS. Based on the Department’s follow-up response, OIG concludes that AIS has fully implemented three corrective actions, substantially implemented one, partially implemented one, and not implemented one. Specifically, AIS has reconfigured its fleet management software, M5, to reflect the entire time a vehicle is unavailable; provided staff with trainings and monthly reports to address the issue of erroneously open work orders; identified additional resources needed for timely preventive maintenance; and improved its communication with CPD.

AIS has also prioritized preventive maintenance activities and initiated collaboration with CPD and the Office of Budget and Management, although its efforts in these areas have been hampered by recent civil unrest. OIG urges AIS to implement the remaining recommendations by determining vehicle-specific availability requirements and informing CPD of all vehicles that are overdue for preventive maintenance.