JLF Triangle Blog

“This would just not be acceptable in the private sector or any other place”

From the City of Los Angeles comes yet another example of the waste and/or fraud that occurs in a government bureaucracy. Los Angeles spent $12 million on a system to track the use of taxpayer-funded gasoline. And now an audit shows that $7 million in gas has “gone missing,” according to the LA Times. It seems the control system is being bypassed, which means LA taxpayers may well be paying for cheats to fill up their personal cars at taxpayer expense. Shameful.

The tools to bypass the tracking system are supposed to be used only when normal systems fail. But auditors found they were used to dispense millions of gallons of fuel over a 22-month period beginning in 2009.

Master cards were swiped 56,000 times to pump $2-million worth of fuel, the audit found, and another $1.2 million in fuel was pumped using the manual bypass. In most cases, there was no paper trail showing why the backup was used and for which vehicle.

At 22 Los Angeles Police Department fueling sites, an override button meant for emergencies was used to pump $3.9 million in gas.

One Response to ““This would just not be acceptable in the private sector or any other place””

  • Mar

    As usual, the L.A. Times is either mis-reporting or outright lying about at least one thing in their article. In regard to the “override” button at the LAPD pumps, it is NOT for emergencies only. The majority of LAPD vehicles are equipped with a device that automatically identifies and logs the vehicle using the pump. However, many cars are not equipped with this device. Therefore, those cars must used the “override” button and manually log their vehicle, its mileage, and the number of gallons pumped. Obviously, there is room for fraud, but more than likely just human error or laziness in properly recording the amount of gallons pumped.

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