On May 1, 2006, the Forest Service terminated for default its Region 5 fleet maintenance contract with Serco Management Services, Inc. This will affect how the agency's California fleet, including specialized fire-fighting equipment, will be serviced.The city of Dallas reported that while it saved more than expected, Serco had problems meeting the vehicle availability requirements.
The California fleet maintenance work was originally outsourced to Serco as part of President Bush's competitive sourcing initiative. Recently, the Forest Service Washington Office reported that this generated $1.7 million in estimated savings in fiscal year 2005. However, a Region 5 investigation in early 2006 found that Serco was chronically behind in accomplishing work, and that shoddy work had placed our employees and the public in general in unsafe situations. In Sacramento, 14 of 25 Serco-serviced fire engines were removed from service for critical safety issues.
Serco has only met the fleet availability requirement for 81 of 171 workdays, or 47% of the time. After various meetings with Serco, in June 2006, the City had Serco submit a plan to meet the 90% fleet availability contract performance. Fleet availability has improved but continual improvement is needed. While the contract provides for overall fleet availability requirements, further analysis showed significant differences in the fleet availability based on the specific types of equipment. Nevertheless, the Sanitation Department advised us they were satisfied with Serco’s service and that Serco’s inability to achieve the fleet availability requirements has not interrupted service to citizens.