ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue vowed on December 22 to cut the state's fleet of cars by 2,000 before the end of June, part of an initiative to save tax dollars by keeping better track of state vehicles, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. “That's an aggressive timetable, but we believe it can be done,” the governor said. The goals of the fleet-management initiative, which Perdue said will save a projected $10 million during its first year, include:

  • Collecting accurate data on the costs of buying, operating, and disposing of the state's estimated 21,000 vehicles.
  • Reducing the fleet by 2,000 cars before June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
  • Reducing by 25 percent the number of miles state employees drive to and from their jobs, to be achieved by putting more emphasis on telecommuting.
  • Looking for cost savings that could be realized by outsourcing, identifying underused state vehicles, and other steps.

    The fleet-management project marked the third consecutive day that Perdue has announced initiatives recommended by the Commission for a New Georgia, a group of business leaders he formed last year to look for ways to use business-like approaches to improve the efficiency of government. All three involve improving the way the state handles property. On December 20, Perdue launched an effort to sell surplus state property such as old computers and office furniture over the Internet. On December 21, he appointed a state property officer to consolidate the management of all buildings the state either owns or leases. “It's really about a better value for the taxpayer,” he said. Perdue is not the first Georgia governor to tackle fleet management. Former Gov. Roy Barnes created the state office of fleet management and cracked down on personal use of state vehicles by agency employees after an independent audit found that no one in state government knew how many vehicles were in the fleet. On December 22, Perdue ordered the office transferred from the Department of Administrative Services to the Office of Planning and Budget, an agency his office oversees directly. State Director of Implementation Lonice Barrett, who assumed the newly created position in August to work with Perdue's commission, said getting a better handle on the fleet will give Georgians more confidence in state government. “There's probably more of a general interest by the public in this (than this week's other initiatives) because of perceptions of abuse in driving (state) vehicles,” he said. “This has both a financial and a public perception aspect.” Besides the $10 million in operational savings, Perdue said the project also will generate $20 million in savings over three years from avoided maintenance costs.