Fleet News

Audit office calls for action on fleets

Public sector chief executives need to get more involved in fleet management, the Welsh Audit Office (WAO) has claimed.

The call comes after public sector fleets in Wales were criticised by the WAO for failing to make the best use of resources.

The office has also called on the public sector to share good practice in minimising the environmental impact of fleets, reducing costs and service delivery.

But, in order for these issues to be addressed, they need to be tackled at the highest level, according to the WAO.

“Fleet Management can involve serious risk to an organisation,” said Jeremy Coleman, auditor general for Wales. “But more positively, fleet management is an important area for the improvement of services and deserves attention from chief executives.”

The Welsh public sector spends more than £200 million on its fleet of vehicles, which covers over 250 million miles and emits in excess of 110,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

A report from the WAO, published in October, highlighted a range of issues that required urgent attention in the public sector, including the need for robust fleet management strategies.

As a result, the WAO held its first ever Fleet Management Conference on Tuesday, November 25, welcoming fleet managers and chief executives to the event in Cardiff.

Guest speakers included Tony Cowley, national fleet and logistics manager for the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust, and motoring journalist Quentin Wilson.

Sharing best practice and tackling environmental issues, as well as questioning whether the journey was needed in the first place, was good news for the public sector and the taxpayer, said Mr Wilson.

“Getting out of the office should not be seen as a chance to get some fresh air,” he added. “The question needs to be asked could it be done over the phone or by email.”

In addition to its conference, the WOA has launched a fleet management good practice guide on its website – www.wao.gov.uk.

It provides guidance and solutions to help organisations get the most from their fleets, as well as examples from the public and private sectors in Wales and elsewhere.

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