OIG Follow-Up Finds That the Department of Assets, Information and Services Has Made Significant Changes to Its Police Vehicle Maintenance Practices

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. OIG made several recommendations to the Department addressing the data errors that hindered accurate determination of fleet availability.

Based on the follow-up response, 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 the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Office of Budget and Management, although its efforts in these areas have been hampered by this summer’s 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.

“A properly maintained and available fleet of police vehicles is fundamental to effective CPD field and beat operations in the service of public safety. Since the release of OIG’s 2019 audit, the Department of Assets, Information and Services has worked diligently to improve the timely maintenance of police vehicles, addressing process concerns within the Department and managing communication issues with CPD,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “Upon full implementation, AIS will be positioned to more accurately measure vehicle availability and come closer to reaching its 95% on-time maintenance goal.”

The full report can be found online: bit.ly/2FMVehiclesFollowUp

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.igchicago.org.