Survey of Costs of Repairing Government Vehicles Damaged in Accidents

LCD-77-224: Published: Jul 26, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1977.

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As a result of assertions made by B. G. Helton that the government was paying too much for repairs to its damaged vehicles and was losing money on its claims collections, a study was made of vehicle repair practices and claims processing procedures at installations of the General Services Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and Justice.

Mathematical errors and faulty projection of losses resulted in a yearly loss figure of $20 million in Mr. Helton's estimate, whereas GAO arrived at a figure of approximately $9 million. Further, the GAO study of vehicle repair practices and claims collection procedures did not indicate that the government was in fact losing or failing to recover vast amounts of money. Agency policies and practices generally ensured that accident claims, for and against the government, were properly and promptly processed and that vehicles were economically repaired. Problems observed during the study can be corrected administratively by the agencies involved. The standards set forth in existing regulations and acts will, if properly implemented, protect the government's interest so that additional legislation is unnecessary.

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