DOCUMENT RESUME 03061 - A2093198] LSurvey of Costs of Repairing Government Vehicles Damaged in Accidents]. LCD-77-22!4; B-158712. Jujy 26, 1977. 2 pp. Report to Sen. Sam Nunn; by Fred J. Shafer, Director, Logistics and Communications Div. Issue Area: Facilities and Material Management (700). Contact: Logistics and Communicaticns Div. Budget Function: Commerce and Transportation: Ground transportation (404). Organization Concerned: Department of Agriculture; Department of Defense; Department of the Interior; DepartmPnt of Justice; General Services Aministration; Postal Service. Congressional Relevance: Sen. Sam Nunn. Authority: Federal Claims Collection Act. Federal Tort Claims Act. As a result of assertions mal 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.3. Postal Service, and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and Justice. Findings/Conclusionas 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. Fucther, GAO's 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 insured 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 standard.s set forth in existing regulations and acts wiil, if properly implemented, p.:otect the Government's interest so that additional legislation is unnecessary. (DJM) i-;) i) UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON: D.C. 20548 LOCGISTICS AND COOVlMUNICATOMS JUL 26 1977 O B-158712 The Honorable Sam Nunn United States Senate Dear Senator Nunn: In your letter of May 25, 1976, you sent us material furnished by Mr. B. G. Belton on inadequacies of the Govern- ment in collecting and paying claims arising from Government vehicles involved it,accidents. Mr. Helton said the Govern- ment was paying too much for repairs on its damaged vehicles. He also said the Government was losing at least $20 million and could lose more than $250 million using its present ve- hicle epair programs and claims-processing procedures. Mr. Helton recommended various improvements to these opera- tion'. You asked that we thoroughly explore Mr. Helton's as- sertions. You also asked us to review the Government's methods for collecting accident claims, evaluate the effec- tiveness of these methods, determine if legislation was needed to improve claims collections, and recommend ways to improve claims collections. We studied vehicle repair practices and claims-processing procedures at selected installations of the General Services Administration, the United States Postal Service, and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and Jus- tice. These agencies operate over 384,000 vehicles, bout 91 percent of the Government's fleet. On February 11, 1977, we briefed a member of your.staff on the study results. We found that mathematical errors and faulty projections of losses had greatly overstated projected losses in Mr. Helton's estimate, and that the adjusted poten- tial loss figure would be closer to $9 million a year than $20 million as cited by his study. LCD-77-224 B-158712 Furthermore, our sudy of vehicle repair practices and claims collection procedures did not indicate thAt the Gov- ernment was in fact losing or failing t recover vast amounts of money. Agency policies and procedures generally insured that accident claims, for and against the Government, were properly and promptly processed and that vehicles were eco- nomically repaired. These policies and procedures, however, were not always effectively carried out at the working level. To quantify the resulting losses would be time consuming. The attache' reports to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Defense and the Administrator, General ervices Adminis- tration, describe problems observed in the study and our r CoM.MI at.In. We believe these problems can be c- rected administra- tively by the agencies involved. The _ .dards set ,rth in the Federal Procurement Regulations, the Federal Claims Collection Act, and the Federal Tort Claims Act, if properly carried cut, will protect the Government's interest. We, therefore, believe that further legislation is not necessary. During the study, we talked with Mr. Belton to discuss his views, t clarify points of issue and statistical data supporting his allegations, and to iform him of our progress. We have not, however, told Mr. Helton the complete results of the study. As agreed to by your office, we are sending you an extra copy of our report for him. Sincerely yours, F. J. Shafer Director 2
Survey of Costs of Repairing Government Vehicles Damaged in Accidents
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-07-26.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)