Sixty-nine percent of West Virginia agencies that use state vehicles do not have written fleet management policies, according to a new report. The West Virginia Legislature Performance Evaluation and Research Division requested and reviewed written fleet management policies related to maintenance, commuting, and fleet-size optimization.
In the State of West Virginia, agencies are not required to develop their own fleet management policies, so most do not have them or rely on the state Fleet Management Office. Of the 93 W.Va. agencies that own or lease state vehicles, 88 responded to the Performance Evaluation and Research Division’s request, and 61 agencies did not provide their own written policies.
Audits released over the past year have found that the state’s fleet vehicles are not being effectively managed. In December, an audit failed to find an accurate vehicle count and, in February, another audit found the state fleet used the highest utilization minimum of 10 states included in the study. The latest audit suggests implementing sufficient policies that help the state establish controls on its fleet.
The audit recommends the Fleet Management Office create a new policy and procedures manual. It also recommends the Legislature require state agencies to draft policies and procedures that incorporate the Fleet Management Office’s policies and procedures, as well as any agency-specific policies and procedures.
The Fleet Management Office agreed with the practice of establishing agency-specific policies, but defended its policy and procedures manual, stating that it provides guidance and policy framework for agencies. The response also noted that fuel is a major part of fleet management for which many agencies have established policies, though these policies were not included in the scope of the audit.
Earlier this year, W.Va. Governor Jim Justice proposed legislation to define and expand the Fleet Management Office. The bill is still in the Legislature.