Audit says Colorado taxpayers on hook for about $1.5 million in take-home vehicle costs from state

DENVER – Colorado lawmakers are promising sweeping changes after a state audit found taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1 million in unauthorized take-home vehicles last year.

The 72-page audit criticizes the state Department of Personnel and Administration for failing to serve as a watchdog of more than 1,000 state-owned vehicles allowed as take-home vehicles for state employees.

The audit found that take-home vehicles cost taxpayers $1.54 million, $1.38 million of which was essentially unauthorized by the state.

The state auditor found 10 areas regarding take-home vehicles that need to be addressed, which the chair of the Legislative Audit Committee, Dan Nordberg, says will happen next year.

“It’s a big deal. If someone said, ‘Hey, it’s only $1.5 million…’ – government waste is government waste,” Nordberg said.

He added that the agencies involved in the program “have been able to do as they see fit,” but that taxpayers “should be disappointed” and that it was “absolutely incumbent on us as a legislature to fix it.”

But he says changes will be made.

“At this point, you have to ask the question, ‘Is that the best cost-effective use of state dollars?’ I think you will see some reform coming and you will absolutely see a drop in that number,” Nordberg said.

Expect the legislature and government offices to make changes next year.

“We agree with all 10 of the audit’s findings and look forward to working with the committee to bring greater clarity, simplification and oversight to the program,” The Department of Personnel and Administration said in a news release to Denver7 Monday.

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