Bureau of Audit
Letter Report on the Public Safety Agenciesí Monitoring of Their Employees Who Drive City-Owned or Personally-Owned Vehicles on City Business
JUNE 25, 2012
AUDIT REPORT IN BRIEF
Download the Complete Letter Report (pdf 2MB)
This audit determined whether the Public Safety agencies are effectively monitoring their employees who drive City-owned or personally-owned vehicles on City business.
New York City requires that only those employees who exercise reasonable care in operating City- or personally-owned vehicles be allowed to use them to conduct City business. This requirement is outlined in the City of New York’s “City Vehicle Driver Handbook” (Regulations). All agency heads through the Agency Transportation Coordinator (ATC) must ensure that all employees assigned a City-owned vehicle either for full-time use or temporary use are authorized to drive. It is also the ATC’s responsibility to ensure that these drivers have valid licenses and insurance (if they are driving their personal vehicles). The driver’s license should be a New York State License unless the employee is exempt from City residency requirements. If this is the case, then the authorized driver must have a valid license from the state where he/she resides and must have the appropriate classification for the vehicle which he/she is driving on City business. The Regulations further specify that City agencies must establish programs that promote safety along with proper training in the use of motor vehicles.
In following these criteria, City agencies use the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) License Event Notification System (LENS). The ATC is responsible for notifying the DMV of all agency-authorized drivers. This enables the DMV’s LENS program to notify the ATC of any event that affects the driver’s license. This includes: if a license is expiring; points accrued; accidents; driving while impaired; or driving while under the influence. This enables the ATC to ensure that only employees with valid licenses are driving on City business. The City’s policy recommends that agencies participate in LENS to monitor the driving behavior of their employees.
We found that all six Public Safety agencies effectively monitor the driving behavior of their authorized drivers. They subscribe to the DMV’s LENS program and receive their updates and revoke the privileges of those drivers who have a suspended or revoked license in a timely manner as prescribed by regulations. They also verify that their employees who drive their personal vehicles for City business have insurance. In addition, all six of the Public Safety agencies provided their employees with a required safety awareness program.
In their response, the six Public Service agencies’ officials agreed with the report’s conclusions.