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June 10, 2021 Government Operations

WINNIPEG – Information from Automatic Vehicle Location devices installed in light-duty government vehicles is not being used to its full potential, says Auditor General Tyson Shtykalo. This finding is contained in a new report, Automatic Vehicle Location Management Systems, released today.

“Government assets should be used in a way that maximizes operational and financial efficiencies,” Shtykalo said. “Unfortunately, Automatic Vehicle Location information is not being used to its full potential. This results in missed opportunities to decrease costs and increase safety, and in the process, reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decreased fuel consumption and better driving.”

In 2018, Manitoba’s Vehicle and Equipment Management Agency (VEMA) installed Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) devices in over 1,700 light-duty fleet vehicles used within government departments and special operating agencies. An AVL device is a piece of hardware that transmits vehicle information such as speed, location, and idling time to cloud-based computer servers. This information, in turn, can be accessed and analyzed by appropriate personnel. The desired outcomes of the program include reducing idling, speeding, and unapproved after-hours use of fleet vehicles.

The report notes that while there was some monitoring of AVL data for speeding and idling, there were no clear consequences for drivers who were not compliant with the rules, and only minimal remedial actions were taken. “We found a range of approaches to monitoring, reporting, and correcting unacceptable driver behavior,” Shtykalo said. “When everyone is on different schedules and tracking different results, it’s difficult to get an overall picture of the progress made against the goals of the program and where adjustments would be helpful.”

To hold drivers accountable, expected driver behaviour should be clearly defined and communicated, the Auditor General noted. The audit, however, found expected driver behaviour is not consistently defined across government departments. “For efficient and effective monitoring, driver non-compliance must be clearly defined to identify which incidents to follow-up on. When this is absent, managers are unclear on what is allowed,” Shtykalo said.

In addition, the audit found there was no centralized oversight of the AVL program. Without that centralized oversight, a consistent and uniform approach across departments is difficult. The report also notes there was no public reporting on the program, or government–wide analysis on progress towards achieving the program’s goals. A lack of public reporting diminishes transparency and government accountability to the people of Manitoba.

The report contains 8 recommendations. To view the report, please visit https://www.oag.mb.ca/reports.

ABOUT THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF MANITOBA

The Auditor General is an officer of the Legislative Assembly mandated to provide independent assurance and advice to Members of the Legislative Assembly. Through its audits, the Office of the Auditor General seeks to identify opportunities to strengthen government operations and enhance performance management and reporting. For more information visit https://www.oag.mb.ca./

For more information contact:
Frank Landry, Communications Manager
204.792.9145
frank.landry@oag.mb.ca
 
 

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