02/23/2015 12:32 EST | Updated 04/25/2015 05:59 EDT

Audit finds 'unacceptable' spending practices at TTC

Toronto's auditor general is concerned about financial mismanagement of a fleet of TTC vehicles not used to transport passengers.

The so-called non-revenue fleet — not buses or streetcars — takes up $2 million in fuel expenses every year. An additional $7 million per year is spent to maintain the fleet of vehicles, even though some are rarely used.

Beverly Romeo-Beehler's audit states that sloppy and incomplete records make it impossible to track whether the millions of dollars for the non-revenue fleet are being properly spent.

The city can't track how more than 400 fuel cards are being used. More than 2,000 staff have access to the cards, which are not assigned to specific vehicles.

She said many of these same issues were raised more than a decade ago.

TTC Chair Josh Colle called the findings of the audit "unacceptable" and warned "there is more to come."

Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who also sits on the TTC committee, was outraged.

"Employees that have left the organization still have cards assigned to them. We have staff members going with jerry cans and half of the receipts analyzed show no proof that this gas being used for TTC business," said Minnan-Wong.

TTC CEO Andy Byford agrees there is potential the system could be abused.

"We should design systems that are smart, not reliant on human beings picking up a receipt," Byford said.

The audit shows that the TTC's non-revenue fleet can often cost more to maintain than to buy the vehicle outright. The TTC also rents 81 personal vehicles, three of which have been on the books for more than nine years.

"I can't explain why we would rent a car for that long," said Byford.

Byford says he is in year three of a five-year plan to revitalize the TTC. But he acknowledges issues like this should have been fixed a long time ago.