Oversight of Transportation Services and Expenses

Issued Date
June 29, 2022
Corrections and Community Supervision, Department of


To determine if the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (Department) has established adequate controls to effectively monitor and ensure accountability over transportation expenses and transportation services. For transportation expenses, excluding fueling, and transportation services, the audit covered the period from April 2016 through June 2021 for contractor data; through September 2021 for employee licensing issues; and through February 2021 for maintenance and repair data. For fuel expenses, the audit covered the period from March 2019 to July 2021 for WEX fueling data and the month of March 2021 for Fuelmaster information.

About the Program

The Department is responsible for the confinement and rehabilitation of approximately 30,500 individuals in custody and the supervision of over 35,000 parolees throughout the State. The Department operates 50 correctional facilities, seven regional offices that provide support services for parolees, as well as a Central Office. (On March 10, 2022, the Department closed six of its facilities.) The Department’s work requires a diverse fleet of both passenger (e.g., cars, SUVs, vans, pickup trucks) and large transportation (e.g., inmate buses, tractor trailers) vehicles. Many of the Department’s employees operate its vehicles in its day-to-day operations. These operators are required to have a current driver’s license to operate these vehicles on public roadways.

Of the 50 facilities, 45 manage the repairs and procurement of parts for their assigned vehicles. The remaining five facilities as well as Central Office and Community Supervision exclusively use a centralized procurement contract (Contract), negotiated and entered into on behalf of the State by the Office of General Services, for fleet management and repair services, administered by the Contractor. In addition, the Department also operates fueling stations at 42 facilities that provide gas at discounted prices through State contract pricing.

As of February 2021, the Department’s fleet comprised 2,572 State-owned and 31 leased vehicles. During the period April 1, 2016 through March 19, 2021, the Department’s vehicle repair and maintenance expenses totaled approximately $18.4 million, including payments of nearly $6.5 million to the Contractor as well as fuel expenditures of $14.4 million. Between March 1, 2019 and July 30, 2021, the Department made $1.4 million in fuel purchases using the statewide refueling credit card (i.e., WEX card).

Key Findings

The Department has not established adequate controls to effectively monitor and ensure accountability over transportation expenses. The Department performs limited to no central monitoring of payments made through the Contractor. Further, the Contractor data does not include sufficient detail the Department would need to adequately monitor vehicle repairs and maintenance costs. Also, the Department does not monitor in-house maintenance expenses but, rather, relies on each facility or office for accurate reporting.

The Department could improve controls and oversight of fuel usage. For example, from March 4, 2019 to July 23, 2021, we identified 3,518 fuel transactions, totaling $101,700, within 2 miles of a State-owned fueling station. Of those, 2,862 transactions at commercial fueling stations resulted in higher costs totaling $10,616. However, 656 transactions at commercial fueling stations resulted in a lower cost totaling $1,267. Had all these transactions been completed at a State-owned facility, the Department would have saved $9,349.

We reviewed 2,054 daily vehicle logs at two correctional facilities and identified three employees who operated vehicles with restricted licenses as a result of a physical impairment, driving violation, or the suspension or revocation of their license. In addition, we identified 397 instances where daily vehicle logs were incomplete, contained erroneous information, or were illegible.

Key Recommendations

  • Implement Department-wide procedures to monitor the Contractor’s performance regarding repair and maintenance costs.
  • Ensure that Department employees use the most cost-effective method for fuel purchases, when practical.
  • Monitor correctional facilities’ vehicle logs and inmate transportation logs to ensure records are complete and accurate, in accordance with Department procedures.

Nadine Morrell

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director
: Nadine Morrell
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236