The escalating cost of fuel has increased the risk of abuse by employees with organisations increasingly becoming victims of opportunistic fuel thefts.

Recently reported case

A Council refuse collector stole more than 32,000 litres of diesel and sold it for a profit. Suspicion fell on the employee after it was noticed that the fuel consumption of their lorry dropped when this person was on holiday. Subsequent investigations found that they had been siphoning fuel from the bin lorry they drove during their round and then dropped it off in 25 litre barrels at their home.

The Council has now confirmed that safeguards have been put in place to prevent future thefts.

The key message from this case is the fact that at the point of purchase the fuel was going into the employer’s vehicle, so the controls around use of fuel cards were circumvented.

Some questions you may wish to consider to assess your organisation’s potential vulnerability include:
  • How many vehicles does your organisation have and how is the fuel paid for?
  • Is your workforce mileage reflective of the fuel costs incurred?
  • How is vehicle fuel cost monitored?
  • Who has access to fuel cards and how well controlled are these?
  • Is your grounds maintenance team fuel expenditure proportionate?
  • Are controls over your staff mileage claims robust enough to detect inflated / falsified
Providing real assurance and peace of mind

TIAA is well placed to provide you with assurance over the robustness of your controls across this area and to advise on how to address any control weaknesses.

In addition, our Data Mining Tools give us the ability to quickly and easily analyse large data sets as part of our comprehensive fuel expenditure reviews.

Action required

The risk of opportunistic fraud and/or theft of fuel paid for by the business has dramatically increased in the last few weeks. Reminding all staff that there is zero tolerance of misappropriation of fuel paid for by the business would be a timely deterrent to employees who might
otherwise be tempted.

Organisations should also seek to obtain assurance over the robustness of their current fuel expenditure controls.

For further discussion and support, including fraud awareness training services, please contact us