Buying fuel? SAO’s new resource can help you pump up your internal controls

Jul 25, 2023

Fuel prices can be volatile. When they rise, governments will feel it in higher fleet-operation budgets, and employees will feel it in their wallets. And here at SAO, we will likely see more local government reports of known or suspected fuel-related losses and frauds.

In our fraud investigations, we’ve found multiple cases of employees who borrowed fuel cards to buy fuel for personal purposes. In other cases, we’ve found fuel that disappeared from storage tanks. Due to poor oversight practices, there was often a significant time lag in governments identifying these fuel losses.

Fuel is a valuable commodity, one that can be easily abused without the right internal controls to protect it. As fuel prices and other inflationary pressures rise, your employees may become increasingly tempted to use your government’s fuel for personal purposes. That means now is a good time to revisit your policies and internal controls, and implement improvements where needed.

SAO’s latest resource can help you get started: Best practices when fueling government-owned vehicles. You can use the information in this resource regardless of your fueling system, whether you use manual methods or fully automated systems. It includes best practices for:

  • Purchasing and managing bulk fuel
  • Protecting your fueling station
  • Using a commercial provider for retail fueling
  • Giving and reviewing access to fuel pumps
  • Collecting fuel data
  • Managing and monitoring fuel consumption

Download a copy and get started on strengthening your internal controls today.

Visit our Resource Library

All our guidance is available online at no cost. We have a lot of great information to share, so spend a few minutes in SAO’s Resource Library to see what we have to offer!

How to reach us for more assistance

Remember, SAO can help. If you have technical questions, submit them using our HelpDesk in the client portal.

We also have internal controls specialists at SAO’s Center for Government Innovation available to talk with you about best practices and resources. For assistance, reach out to us at