An audit of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service has found the agency hasn't managed its fleet vehicle procurement effectively, missing out on $2.5 million in potential savings in 2014.
The audit was conducted by DHS's inspector general at the request of the House subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency to see if the agency's fleet of more than 1,100 vehicles was necessary to operations.
Related:Read the report
The 1,169 vehicles in the FPS fleet cost $10.7 million in FY 2014, with 98 percent of them are leased through an agreement with the General Services Administration.
The agency, which provides security services for federal properties, has a fleet of both law enforcement and administrative vehicles, supplying an emergency response vehicle for each law enforcement officer in FPS.
The audit found that FPS also had 101 law enforcement vehicles more than it had officers, logged as spare vehicles in case part of the fleet required repairs, but the agency hadn't conducted an analysis to determine the number appropriate number of spares. Law enforcement vehicles cost FPS $9,500 each in annual lease charges.
Furthermore, the audit noted that FPS couldn't provide "adequate justification" for 32 spare administrative vehicles, at a price tag of $3,500 apiece.
The inspector general also found that 93 percent of FPS's fleet was comprised of SUVs, which agency officials said was to accommodate the required law enforcement equipment. But the audit found that sedans, which cost $2,800-less annually than the SUVs, could also accommodate the same amount of gear.
Midsize sedans are, in fact, the preferred vehicle in the National Programs and Protection Directorate's Fleet Manual—of which FPS serves as a divisional component. The manual allows for agency exceptions, but the audit said FPS didn't provide formal validation for the need of the larger vehicles, potentially missing out on $1.1 million in savings if it stuck with sedans.
FPS officers in the agency's National Capitol Region 11 also racked up more than $300,000 annually in home-to-work miles, accounting for 57 percent of that region's total miles, by responding to after-hours incidents, which is against protocol for off-duty officers, but was nevertheless approved by FPS for Region 11.
The audit found that FPS couldn't justify purchases of discretionary law enforcement equipment; including bike racks, rechargeable flashlights and wireless security system; which increased the costs of vehicle alterations between $12,000 to $20,000, depending on the package.
Finally, FPS reportedly over paid $35,000 for vehicle alterations to 11 sedans within the fleet.
The IG offered five recommendations, including more DHS oversight, better documentation from FPS, a review of the GSA lease agreements, and a review of the NPPD Fleet Manual.
DHS concurred with all five recommendations and noted its efforts to improve each area addressed in the audit. The IG also agreed with DHS's analysis of improvements applied.