RALEIGH, NC - A third report from the State of North Carolina Program Evaluation Division about the State fleet suggested the State expand the mission of the Division of Motor Fleet Management (MFM) to oversee all state vehicles and rename it the Division of State Fleet Management to recognize this increased authority. Currently, the MFM only oversees state-owned passenger motor vehicles, not non-passenger vehicles and law enforcement, fire, and emergency vehicles. Non-passenger and exempted vehicles make up 73%, or 20,795 units, of State-owned vehicles.

The new Division of State Fleet Management would continue under the Department of Administration. The Program Evaluation Division’s report stated the MFM would need five new positions to perform its additional responsibilities. The additional cost of staff and operating costs is estimated to be $400,000, to be paid from fees charged to state agencies and institutions.

The effective date of the transition should be Jan. 1, 2013.

The Program Evaluation Division’s investigation into management of fleet vehicles found that North Carolina had weak and diffuse oversight of fleet vehicles, resulting in inefficient use of State assets. The Departments of Administration and Transportation own 55% of all State vehicles. Fourteen agencies owning more than 200 vehicles had more that 95% of the State fleet, and numerous other agencies owned and managed their own vehicles, ranging from fleet size of 1 to 199. Lack of oversight over all vehicles led to inconsistent information and statistics, leading to an inability to “determine the appropriate fleet size to meet state government needs,” according to the report.

The report found many individual fleet agencies did not meet best practice criteria for policies and procedures, management of vehicle utilization data, financial management, and vehicle replacement and acquisition.

The report stated that expansion of responsibilities of the State Fleet Management Division would not mean the division would own all state vehicles; rather, it could provide “statewide supervision of all vehicles without requiring state agencies and institutions to transfer ownership” of vehicles. However, the report stated that currently, 614 passenger vehicles are owned by 28 individual agencies and institutions that need to be transferred to the Department of Administration, per State law.

The new division would, among other duties, maintain inventory, operate the state-wide fleet management information system (FMIS), and review and approve vehicle acquisition and replacement requests.

In FY-2010-11, state agencies owned 28,669 vehicles and spent a total of $182.7 million to own, operate, and maintain motor vehicles. Of this, they used $71.5 million on fuel and $54.2 million on maintenance and repair services.

The first two reports in this series addressed the need for a state-wide fleet management system and the need for a telematics system to strengthen accountability. The full third report can be found here.