LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas state agencies have reduced the number of state vehicles by about 350, and 39 employees at executive state agencies have indicated they will no longer use state vehicles for commuting purposes, according to the Department of Finance and Administration. These changes were made in response to Arkansas Mayor Mike Beebe's Executive Order 10-14, signed Oct. 5, which changed state fleet policy to limit vehicle assignments and required all employees to reapply for commuting waivers.
According to a letter from the Department of Finance and Administration to the governor, the 39 employees voluntarily forgoing use of a state vehicle for commuting come from 18 executive state agencies and institutions of higher learning.
The state fleet size has already decreased by approximately 260 vehicles since Oct. 3, through the routine sale of older and used vehicles, according to the letter. In addition the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has sold 103 vehicles (15 percent of its 658-unit fleet) and expects to sell 20 more by the end of the year. As of early October, the State vehicle inventory report listed 8,771 total units.
State agencies and commissions were requested to send in commuter requests to the Department of Finance and Administration by Nov. 1, "identifying the state interest that would be served by granting commuting privileges." Agencies sent requests for 147 employees, and 84 have been granted commuter status, including 69 employees previously classified as commuters. Fifty-one were classified under the Regular Travel Status or Public Health, Safety & Welfare categories, and 10 requests were denied.
Prior to the executive order, 289 employees had been granted commuter waivers. In addition to the commuter requests granted and denied (detailed above), many of these previous "commuters" were reclassified under different categories (69 in Public Health, Safety and Welfare, and 72 with Regular Travel status). Nineteen stated they would no longer use a state vehicle for commuting services, and 50 did not request a waiver, according to the letter.
The Division of Legislative Audit will no longer be using its nine vehicles for commuting purposes. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission required about 55 employees to discontinue using state vehicles for commuting purposes. The Department of Highway and Transportation is reassessing its vehicle use, according to the Department of Finance and Administration.