Report identifies concerns over fuel and maintenance invoicing that resulted in an undetected $380,000 error
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of the City of St. Louis Board of Public Service. The audit outlined concerns with fuel and maintenance invoices and recommended increased oversight of inventory.
The City of St. Louis Board of Public Service is responsible for planning and construction of public works for the City of St. Louis. The Board of Public Service also manages the city’s Equipment Services and Facilities Management Divisions and Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum. Findings in the audit related to the Equipment Services Division, which is responsible for the maintenance and repair of city vehicles and controls four garages, 20 refueling sites and two tankers.
When city departments or other users utilize the city refueling sites or purchase fuel from commercial vendors, they are billed for the fuel used. Between February and September 2018, due to a system error, personnel did not know some fuel purchases were not invoiced. The error went undetected until auditors began asking for documentation from that time period. In total, $380,229 in fuel was purchased, but not properly charged. Additional system errors caused some city departments to be overcharged or undercharged.
The audit also found the division does not ensure entities billed for fuel and maintenance costs submit payment. The audit identified $98,000 in outstanding invoices, some dating back to 2017. Better procedures are necessary to ensure invoices include all necessary costs and are properly paid.
The report also recommended better processes for taking inventory of vehicle and equipment parts. The city should have procedures to ensure inventories are conducted with proper oversight on a regular basis and that identified concerns are investigated quickly.
This audit was completed as a part of the comprehensive, independent audit of the City of St. Louis. Auditor Galloway will be releasing a series of reports addressing every city office and department. For more information on the ongoing audit of the city, visit auditor.mo.gov/STLAudit.
The complete audit of the St. Louis Board of Public Service can be found HERE.