Government Fleet Top News

Kentucky Mulls Overhaul of State Fleet

August 3, 2005

FRANKFORT, KY – Acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert thinks consolidating the fleet of state-owned cars could save millions of dollars, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper.The state owns 5,646 passenger cars, according to an inventory conducted recently by the Transportation Cabinet. It was the first comprehensive accounting of state vehicles.In the Transportation Cabinet alone, investigators found 15 to 20 cars that were used only two to three weeks a year, according to Nighbert. Those cars might be cut from the fleet, and more might follow as cabinet officials look for waste elsewhere in the state's vehicle system.Nighbert said some state employees are taking their government-owned cars home at night, and others are over-billing the state for mileage on their personal cars. Some state workers have been paid as much as $2,000 per month in travel and gasoline reimbursements, Finance and Administration Secretary Robbie Rudolph said."I think it's just been a matter of choice, and it's been pretty lax," Nighbert said at a news conference.Transportation Cabinet officials hope to centralize control of all vehicles with the Division of Fleet Management. Given the number of vehicles that sit unused, Nighbert said he thinks the state can sell part of its fleet and still provide enough cars for its employees.He said he's never heard of a case where no state-owned car was available to an employee who needed one.The inventory also included a safety investigation. Three cars were immediately sold because they were unsafe. Investigators also found:

  • 31 vehicles with damaged windshields.
  • 197 vehicles with body damage.
  • 18 vehicles with brake problems.
  • 17 vehicles with broken headlights, taillights, or both.
  • 19 vehicles with tire problems.
  • Radar detectors, which are prohibited in state-owned vehicles, were removed from two cars.

    The inventory included all vehicles weighing three-quarters of a ton or less, and did not include vehicles owned by the Kentucky State Police or non-executive government agencies.

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