WRAL follows up on their report from a year ago regarding taxpayer dollars being squandered on state-owned vehicles not being used and finds that virtually nothing has been done to correct the situation.
Yet, one year after a WRAL investigation and a call for change from the governor, agencies have yet to figure out how to manage the costs of state-owned cars.
Agencies lease the cars to log millions of miles a year, but taxpayers also pay when the vehicles are parked. A 2009 WRAL investigation found the Department of Correction paid, even though one vehicle sat idle for five straight months……A year later, departments are still paying millions of dollars for unused miles.
And agencies took their sweet time even bothering to respond to Perdue’s urging to find a more efficient way to manage state motor fleets:
After WRAL’s 2009 stories, (deputy secretary of the Department of Administration) Speros Fleggas says management changes were put into place to improve efficiency. About eight months later, each state department appointed a vehicle coordinator….Fleggas and his colleague, Chief Operating Officer Anne Bander, say it’s still too early to show improvements.
Eight months before they appointed “vehicle coordinators”? Still “too early” to show improvements? Its been a year and they can’t figure out how to more efficiently arrange travel for state employees? No hurries, guys. Its not like there’s a massive budget deficit or anything.
But this should come as no surprise. Why should they make any effort to improve things? Will anyone be fired over this? Of course not.
And here is the most revealing quote:
“As long as bills were being paid, I don’t think a whole lot of people paid a whole lot of attention to it,” said Speros Fleggas, deputy secretary of the Department of Administration, which oversees the motor fleet.
Sure, as long as someone else (taxpayers) keep on footing the bill, who cares whether the money is being wasted?
This serves as yet another example of the lack of proper incentives for financial responsibility within government.