27 October 2009

W.Va. Tries to Get a Grip on Its Vehicle Fleet

Following an audit that raised several concerns about vehicles owned or leased by state government, Gov. Joe Manchin has formed a task force while also touting recent efforts to address the topic, The Associated Press and others report.

"All employees with take-home vehicles must ensure, along with their agencies, that they are properly counting this fringe benefit," AP's article said. "The administration ordered mileage logs for all vehicles and surveyed all executive branch departments and agencies"

Manchin's Department of Administration also surveyed executive branch agencies, including those of other elected officials, and counted 9,312 state-titled vehicles.

That census "identified 56 percent of the total as specialty vehicles," AP reported. "Those include mine rescue and heavy-duty highway trucks, boats and boat trailers, all-terrain and emergency response vehicles, and transports for prisoners and veterans. The remaining 44 percent are 4,083 passenger vehicles."

The new task force, meanwhile, "has until Dec. 15 to improve the way the state manages its fleet. "

The Charleston Gazette also has coverage. The Charleston Daily Mail focuses on the task of gauging the size of the vehicle fleet. MetroNews spoke to state Auditor Glen Gainer about the administration's report, and has audio.

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