The security force that protects federal buildings has more SUVs than officers, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) watchdog, which found $2.5 million wasted each year due to mismanagement of its vehicle fleet.
The Federal Protective Service (FPS) had 101 more law enforcement vehicles than officers last year, and spent taxpayer funding to upgrade its SUVs with bike racks, the new audit released by the Office of Inspector General found.
“FPS is not managing its fleet effectively,” the OIG said. “FPS did not properly justify that its current fleet is necessary to carry out its operational mission.”
“Specifically, FPS did not justify the need for: more vehicles than officers; administrative vehicles; larger sport utility vehicles; home-to-work miles in one region; and discretionary equipment added to vehicles,” they said.
The FPS has a fleet of 1,169 vehicles, the vast majority of which are SUVs. The fleet cost $10.7 million to lease last year.
“In [fiscal year] FY 2014, FPS had 101 more law enforcement vehicles than full-time equivalent law enforcement positions,” the audit found.
The OIG noted that the agency does have a need for spare vehicles when an officer’s vehicle breaks down, but questioned the large number of excessive vehicles in the fleet. The FPS could save $1,071,500 each year if it got rid of its spare vehicles.