Federal Vehicle Fleets:

Leading Practices for Managing Fleet Operations

GAO-15-644T: Published: May 21, 2015. Publicly Released: May 21, 2015.

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Lori Rectanus
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What GAO Found

Effective fleet management relies on a complete and integrated fleet management information system, the use of life-cycle cost analysis, and appropriate decisions about fleet size and composition.  Following these practices enhances agencies’ ability to make sound decisions about their fleets and assure that the fleets are meeting missions in the most cost-efficient manner possible.  The United States Postal Service’s (Postal Service) delivery fleet is essential to accomplishing its mission of delivering mail to a network of over 150 million delivery points.  In 2011, we found that many of the Postal Service’s custom-built delivery vehicles were approaching the end of their 24-year expected operational lives.  However, the Postal Service’s deteriorating financial condition posed a significant barrier to replacing or refurbishing those vehicles.  In 2015, the Postal Service issued a request for information from potential suppliers to develop a next-generation delivery vehicle to meet future capacity needs.       

Why GAO Did This Study

In fiscal year 2013, federal agencies spent over $4.4 billion to acquire, operate, and maintain about 635,000 nontactical vehicles.  The General Services Administration (GSA) has a role in procuring vehicles for agencies and issues guidance to support agency efforts. The Postal Service accounted for over 200,000 of those vehicles and $1.6 billion of those costs. GAO produced this testimony at the request of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Government Operations.

What GAO Recommends

In its prior work, GAO made recommendations to GSA to help improve fleet management.  Specifically, GAO recommended that GSA develop and publish guidance for agencies on estimating indirect costs attributable to fleet management and ask agencies for supporting documentation on the methods the agencies use to develop their fleet optimization targets.  GSA has taken action to address these recommendations.  In prior work, GAO also recommended that the Postal Service develop a strategy to address its delivery fleet needs.  The Postal Service has said that it was developing a strategy to address immediate and long-term needs of its delivery fleet.

For more information, contact Lori Rectanus at 202 512-2834 or rectanusl@gao.gov.

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