Managers of government’s vehicle fleet announced Monday the installation of a new fuel-dispensing system to track consumption and vehicle maintenance as part of efforts to rectify abuses of the old Gasboy system.
Called Gasboy Islander Plus, the new “Web-based enterprise fleet management” system is made by the same company as the previous Gasboy installation, but it updates the software, enabling more precise and comprehensive control, according to a statement released by government Monday.
The Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services, according to the press release, looks forward to significant cost savings under the new system for the 1,200-vehicle fleet.
The old Gasboy card system, installed in 1996, was flagged in 2010 by then-Auditor General Dan Duguay, who said hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges at the North Sound Fuel Depot, government’s sole official gasoline outlet, were unlikely to have been solely for “business purposes.” The outlet comprises three 6,000 U.S.-gallon underground tanks and four pumps.
Mr. Duguay recorded “potential abuse and fraud as early as the 15 months between January 2008 and March 2009, and again in the 12 months between July 2009 and June 2010.”
Employees of as many as 15 government departments or statutory authorities had used fuel cards without proper monitoring, the auditor’s report said. During the latter period, 43 percent of the 378 active Gasboy cards were used by consumers no longer employed by the unit designated on the card or “had no business need” for it.
Mr. Duguay’s successor, current Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick, found similar, ongoing abuses in 2012, identifying a particular Airport Authority car and fuel card.
The Gasboy system employed separate cards for vehicles and employees, requiring users to swipe both before refueling. Although the system asked drivers to record odometer readings, records were seldom kept.
In 2012, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson promised a new system by mid-year, asking government’s chief officers to deal with the abuses “in a timely manner.”
In February this year, government issued a formal tender for a new system “to control the dispensing of fuel at the gas pumps and to keep proper records.”
The tender sought between 1,000 and 1,500 tags to monitor drivers, government vehicle identification, invoice billing records, reconciliation of fuel billing and purchase records, and the ability to limit the amount of fuel purchased with any card.
Further reports suggested new time and volume restrictions could be joined by a vehicle-mounted chip ensuring the equipment was government owned, automatically recording odometer readings.
According to Monday’s announcement, the new system “provides robust audit control features to protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability of information. It provides specific information on all invoicing and changes to facilitate in-depth analysis for auditing.
“The new system will allow [the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services] to realize greater control over its operations by automating maintenance scheduling; provide enhanced integration with its supplier of fuel, while streamlining the department monthly billing process to other departments and … statutory authorities.”
Excessive costs would be tracked and “exceptions flagged for management review,” the release said.
Department director Richard Simms thanked his tender committee, saying “we are very pleased with this system. We were looking for a system that [was] reliable, innovative and cost effective, and met the fleet operation’s needs, with more than dispensing, controlling, and managing fuel.
“Some of the key features I like about the system,” Mr. Simms said, “is that it is able to do both automated and manual fueling. It can set authorization operations for vehicle and person[s], [can] control operations to set limitations (daily, weekly, monthly) and restrictions, and [has] accounting operations for billing/invoice, storage data, quantity, time, fuel usage by person and vehicle.”