AUSTIN, TEXAS - Jim Wright, president of Fleet Counselor Services Inc. (FCS), announced the City of Austin, Texas, has successfully achieved National Fleet Certification.

“We worked very hard for several years to meet all the criteria necessary to accomplish earning this award. We have overcome many obstacles and made many improvements that benefit our customers, the City taxpayers, and our staff,” said Jennifer Walls, acting fleet officer.

At the April 10 city council meeting, Jim Wright, president of FCS, presented the Crystal Award to Mayor Will Wynn and Marc Ott, city manager.

At a time when inflation continues to soar, and gas prices are mounting, the City of Austin has joined other area agencies in a coalition to be “cost effective” and run a safe operation. The Fleet Services Division has implemented the following cost-effective programs during recent years, allowing the fleet to pass the certification process:

· Vehicle Utilization Management Program.

· Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program, including vegetable-based biofuels.

· Fleet Training Program.

· Training and reliance on their fleet management software technology utilizing Fleet Focus M4.

· Complete update of their policies and procedures manual, including annual customer service agreements.

The City of Austin is the only Texas Public Fleet that is currently certified. The Fleet Services Division team started the certification process three years ago and completed implementation of the final requirements in January 2008. Testing and certification is an ongoing practice.

FCS designed the certification process to provide agencies a method to evaluate their own fleet operations without the use of an expensive consulting firm, resulting in savings of thousands of public dollars. The software also includes detailed implementation plans for any area that may need improvement. FCS will certify an agency as being cost competitive and industry efficient after it passes the test contained in the software and has the test results validated.

The City of Austin Fleet Services Division will strive to improve and implement new programs to be able to recertify each year, as new performance standards are developed by FCS in order to remain certified as industry efficient. The program is underwritten by three national nonprofit educational industry associations.