1997 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration
By: Senator(s) Blackmon
Senate Bill 2449
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT FLEET VEHICLE MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT SERVICES SYSTEM WITHIN THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR STATE-OWNED AND STATE-LEASED VEHICLES; TO CREATE A TASK FORCE TO OVERSEE THE CREATION OF THE SYSTEM; TO ESTABLISH A STATE VEHICLE SYSTEMS USER GROUP TO ASSIST IN THE INITIAL PLANNING AND RULE MAKING FOR THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE MANAGEMENT; TO CREATE A SPECIAL REVOLVING FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY FOR THE REVENUES AND EXPENSES OF THE SYSTEM; TO DIRECT THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO STUDY THE COSTS OF OWNING, OPERATING AND MAINTAINING MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY THE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STATE VEHICLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OR ESTABLISH SUCH A SYSTEM; TO REQUIRE STATE ORGANIZATIONS TO TRANSFER OWNERSHIP CUSTODY AND CONTROL OF ALL STATE VEHICLES TO THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION; TO AMEND SECTION 25-1-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ONLY THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING MAY PURCHASE MOTOR VEHICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-1-81, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE MANAGEMENT AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING SHALL PREPARE AN ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SYSTEM'S PERFORMANCE TO THE LEGISLATURE; TO AMEND SECTION 29-9-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE MANAGEMENT SHALL PERFORM A PROGRAM NEEDS AND BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS PRIOR TO AUTHORIZING PROCUREMENT OR DISPOSAL OF ANY MOTOR VEHICLE; TO AMEND SECTION 29-9-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE STATE AUDITOR TO KEEP CERTAIN RECORDS; TO DIRECT THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND EXPENDITURE REVIEW TO PERFORM A BIANNUAL PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF THE SYSTEM; TO REPEAL SECTION 25-1-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH GOVERNS USE AND CONTROL OF MOTOR VEHICLES BY CERTAIN STATE AGENCIES; TO REPEAL SECTION 25-1-93, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH EXEMPTS THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR FROM CONTROLS OVER VEHICLE OWNERSHIP AND USAGE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. To provide for optimum use of state-owned vehicles at a minimum cost to taxpayers, it is the intent of the Legislature to establish a unified fleet vehicle management and support services system under the management and control of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. It is further the intent of the Legislature to provide for an orderly transition to the new management system.
SECTION 2. For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as provided in this section:
(a) "State organizations" shall mean all elected and appointed state officials, authorities, boards, commissions, departments or other entities and their organizational units which lease or own vehicles which are accountable in the property inventory system of the State Auditor, except the institutions of higher learning, but including the Commissioner of Higher Education.
(b) "Official state business" shall mean the use of a state-leased or -owned vehicle by any qualified and authorized state appointed or elected public officer or employee in the performance of the state office's or organization's assigned duty responsibilities. Official state business shall not include:
(i) Use of a vehicle for any social, recreational, religious, educational, political or any other such purpose, whether on duty or off;
(ii) The transportation of any passengers, whether or not they are state employees, except such transportation necessary for the performance of state business;
(iii) Use of a vehicle by any individual other than a public officer, public employee or volunteer worker who is approved by the head of a state organization or a designated representative;
(iv) Use of a vehicle by any contractual employee of the state unless authorized by the State Fleet manager; and
(v) The loan, lease or rent of a vehicle to any person, organization, governmental jurisdiction or business except when necessary in a state emergency or natural disaster and approved by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
(c) "Personal business" shall mean the use of a state-leased or -owned vehicle for other than official state business.
(d) "Commuting" shall mean the use of a state-leased or -owned vehicle to travel only between a state official's or employee's primary residence and that individual's state work site without any intermediary stops.
(e) "Law enforcement vehicles" shall mean passenger and non-passenger vehicles used by sworn law enforcement officers primarily engaged in law enforcement duties at least a majority of their state work time.
(f) "Passenger vehicle" shall mean any vehicle used primarily in transporting individuals and their equipment from one location to another location. Such shall also include all passenger buses except elementary and secondary school buses, regardless of the number of passengers.
(g) "Non-passenger vehicle" shall mean any vehicle used primarily to perform a work task while incidentally transporting individuals and their equipment from one location to another location.
(h) "Permanently assigned vehicle" shall mean a vehicle leased to an agency for the routine use of one identified individual, organizational employee position or organization program.
(i) "Pooled vehicle" shall mean a vehicle which is assigned to any state organization for:
(i) The routine use of more than one individual;
(ii) Use for less than one (1) year; or
(iii) Specific trips with a maximum duration of three (3) weeks through the central motor pool.
(j) "Authorized commuter" shall mean a public official or employee with a permanently assigned or pooled vehicle who is approved by the State Fleet Manager to travel only between his primary residence and his state work site. The individual may only make intermediary stops for refueling, work purposes or personal medical emergencies.
(k) "Leased vehicle" shall mean a vehicle which the state obtains use of but not title to at the time of vehicle delivery.
(l) "Owned vehicle" shall mean a procured vehicle which the state obtains use of and title to at the time of vehicle delivery.
SECTION 3. (1) There is hereby created a Task Force for Better State Vehicle Management, which shall oversee and assist the creation of a fleet vehicle management and support services system.
(2) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation shall chair the task force. In addition to the chairman, the task force shall be constituted as follows:
(a) One (1) person appointed by the Governor;
(b) One (1) person appointed by the State Auditor;
(c) One (1) person appointed by the Director of the State Department of Finance and Administration;
(d) One (1) person appointed by the Commissioner of Public Safety;
(e) One (1) person appointed by the Executive Director of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks;
(f) One (1) person appointed by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services; and
(f) One (1) person appointed by the State Personnel Director.
(h) The Commissioner of Higher Education may appoint one (1) person to the task force.
The task force shall meet at the call of the chair.
(3) The task force shall develop a plan for the creation and implementation of the fleet vehicle management and support services system. The Mississippi Department of Transportation shall provide the necessary staff support to the task force, but the task force may also contract with consultants as needed.
(4) The task force shall cease to exist on December 31, 1998.
SECTION 4. Prior to July 1, 1999, the task force shall:
(a) Prepare a complete, task-based implementation plan with a clear definition of all tasks, the responsible individuals, the task methodology, the excepted costs, any expected savings and their projected completion times;
(b) Perform a cost/benefits analysis of both an independent public employee and a privatized operation in accordance with the recommended process on pages 17-26 in the 1992 PEER Report entitled "The Privatization Potential of Mississippi's State Programs and Services," dated November 30, 1992;
(c) Develop an activation plan and resource requirements for the new Division of Motor Vehicle Management with an effective date of July 1, 1998;
(d) Perform a statewide program needs assessment for each state organization with a task force-developed model analysis process;
(e) Prepare a FY 2000 disposal action plan and estimated budget savings for excess vehicles; and
(f) Prepare a FY 1999 budget for the new vehicle management division which will be funded from the existing resources of Mississippi Department of Transportation.
SECTION 5. The Mississippi Department of Transportation shall hire a state fleet manager on or before October 1, 1997. He shall be responsible for conducting the cost/benefits analysis to determine the most effective and efficient type of fleet vehicle management system. He shall direct and manage the Division of Motor Vehicle Management, effective July 1, 1998, which will either staff and manage the system or provide oversight and quality assurance for a privatized operation. The three (3) major objectives of the system shall be:
(a) To ensure that the state manages, maintains and operates the minimal size vehicle fleet to assure the minimum input of public resources (efficiency);
(b) To successfully deliver transportation services for official business only to all state organizations at the required performance levels with the most advantageous method for the state (effectiveness); and
(c) To achieve the prudent financial and operational management goals of accurate cost allocation systems, improved organizational operations, increased resource productivity at minimum costs, increased resource accountability and required management reporting.
SECTION 6. There is hereby created a Division of Motor Vehicle Management within the Mississippi Department of Transportation which shall centralize the ownership, management and maintenance of state motor vehicles and the necessary support services under the authority, control and jurisdiction of a state fleet manager. The system shall collect appropriate vehicle rental fees to defray the costs of operating and replacing the motor vehicles. The division shall study the feasibility of including school buses in the system.
SECTION 7. The Division of Motor Vehicle Management shall develop, implement and enforce the necessary management and operational criteria, information systems, policies, procedures, performance measurement standards, programs, records, reports, support facilities and support systems.
(1) In the area of fleet management, the division shall provide at a minimum:
(a) A preventive maintenance system for each type of vehicle;
(b) A comprehensive management information system;
(c) A periodic program needs analysis system;
(d) The annual procurement of vehicles;
(e) Statewide fuel access and vehicle maintenance systems;
(f) A quality assurance review system for organizational operations;
(g) A statewide fleet safety program;
(h) A cost allocation system for individual vehicles and organizations; and
(i) A toll-free vehicle abuse telephone reporting system advertised through vehicle bumper decals.
(2) In the area of vehicle policy and compliance, the division shall provide:
(a) The development, distribution, implementation and enforcement of necessary system policies, procedures, management and operational processes, forms, records and reports;
(b) Individual vehicle assignments to organizations;
(c) Compliance with disposal, inventory control and procurement laws;
(d) Determination and disposal of excess vehicles;
(e) A central motor pool with principal offices in Jackson and any needed statewide branch operations;
(f) The permanent assignment of vehicles to an organization or its employees based on specific written criteria;
(g) The approval authority for commuting privileges based on specific written criteria;
(h) Vehicle reassignment authority between state organizations; and
(i) Developing and enforcing use of a fair market value for commuting in permanently assigned vehicles.
SECTION 8. Every state organization shall:
(a) Fully cooperate with the Mississippi Department of Transportation in all aspects of the development, implementation and operation of the system;
(b) Appoint a transportation liaison officer to be responsible for the agency's compliance with the management system policies and for maintaining continued surveillance of agency transportation needs;
(c) Verify annually the efficient utilization of assigned vehicle mileage capacity and compliance with motor vehicle assignment and use criteria;
(d) Use available motor pool vehicles when such use is the most economical to the state instead of requesting permanently assigned vehicles; and
(e) Prepare a plan to reduce private vehicle reimbursement costs at least twenty percent (20%) by the end of Fiscal Year 1999.
SECTION 9. The Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation shall appoint a State Vehicle Systems User Group to represent state organizations using the system to assist in the planning and rule making for the Division of Motor Vehicle Management.
SECTION 10. The Division of Motor Vehicle Management shall operate a central motor pool operation in the Jackson metropolitan
complex and may operate motor pools in other areas as needed.
SECTION 11. There is hereby created a special revolving fund in the State Treasury for collection of revenues of the Division of Motor Vehicle Management for the operations of the division and for procurement of additional and replacement vehicles.
SECTION 12. Except for elected statewide officials and line duty law enforcement officers, the State Fleet Manager shall not permanently assign a vehicle, regardless of its funding source, to any state official or employee unless he determines that permanent assignment is the most cost efficient method for the state.
SECTION 13. All officers and employees with permanently assigned vehicles shall reimburse the state for actual costs of commuting between home and work unless the officer or employee travels directly from home to a work site other than his regular office or work site.
SECTION 14. The Commissioner of Higher Education shall study the costs of owning, operating and maintaining motor vehicles and determine the optimum method of managing motor vehicles owned and used by the institutions of higher learning. The commissioner shall further study the feasibility of participation in the State Motor Vehicle Pool by the institutions of higher learning. The institutions of higher learning shall either participate in the system provided by the Mississippi Department of Transportation or establish a vehicle management system in compliance with Section 5. The commissioner shall report his findings to the Legislature by November 15, 1997.
SECTION 15. State organizations shall transfer ownership, custody and control of all state vehicles, support facilities and equipment, parts and supply inventories, and administrative and support staff to the Mississippi Department of Transportation in accordance with a schedule developed by the task force.
SECTION 16. All new passenger automobiles purchased by the Mississippi Department of Transportation shall operate on no less than twenty-five (25) miles per gallon of fuel in normal highway use.
SECTION 17. Section 25-1-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-77. No state department, institution or agency shall purchase any automobile, regardless of the source of funds from which said automobile or station wagon or similar vehicle is to be purchased, except under authority granted by the Division of Motor Vehicle Management or the institutions of higher learning.
Any state officer, employee or board member who violates this section shall be liable on his bond for the total amount of the purchase price of the vehicle, plus double the amount of funds expended for the operation of the vehicle.
SECTION 18. Section 25-1-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-81. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall refuse to issue warrants upon requisitions drawn in violation of the provisions hereof, and where any expense account is allowed and paid in violation of the provisions of Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-93, it shall be the duty of said auditor to withhold the payment of any further expense accounts for the department, agency, or institution involved until the amount of the account or accounts illegally paid shall be refunded and repaid to the State of Mississippi by the person receiving or approving same. It is further provided that the Auditor of Public Accounts shall prescribe and deliver to each agency, department or institution a uniform system of expense accounts herein allowed, including a uniform system of depreciation allowance. All expense accounts for lodging shall be supported by receipted bills showing the payment thereof by such officer or employee. It is incumbent upon each agency, department or institution to abide by and utilize the method of uniform system of expense accounts so prescribed and delivered by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Division of Motor Vehicle Management or the institutions of higher learning, in rendering its annual report to the Legislature, shall show the number of state-owned automobiles purchased and operated during the year, the number purchased and operated out of funds appropriated by the Legislature, the number purchased and operated out of any other public funds, the miles travelled per automobile, the total miles travelled, the average cost per mile, and depreciation estimate on each automobile. Said report shall also show the cost per mile and total number of miles travelled in privately owned automobiles for which reimbursement is made out of state funds.
SECTION 19. Section 29-9-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
29-9-9. (1) Whenever any vehicle, equipment, office furniture, office fixture or any other personal property which has been acquired or is owned by any institution, department or agency of the State of Mississippi becomes obsolete or is no longer needed or required for the use of such institution, department or agency, the same may be sold for cash, traded or exchanged for other property, furniture, equipment, fixture or vehicle needed by said institution, department or agency after having first obtained the written approval of the Governor's Office of General Services and the State Auditor or approval by the Legislative Budget Office if utilized under the jurisdiction of the Legislature. The singular shall include the plural.
(2) The proceeds of all cash sales made, as authorized in this section, shall be paid over into the support and maintenance or contingent fund of the institution, department or agency as it deems best.
(3) The head of each state institution, department or agency shall be responsible and liable personally and on his official bond, in the amount of the value shown on the state inventory, for the disposal of any property contrary to the provisions of this section.
(4) The Office of General Services, on the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, is hereby authorized and empowered to make reasonable rules and regulations and to require such information as may be necessary to carry out the purpose and provisions of this section.
(5) Any violation of the provisions hereof by any elected head of any institution, department, commission or agency of the State of Mississippi, or any appointee or employee of any institution, department, agency or commission coming under the provisions of this section, shall constitute a misdemeanor and, upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) in addition to personal and official liability, as hereinabove provided.
(6) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the disposal of any unneeded personal property at the project described in Section 57-75-5(f)(vii), Mississippi Code of 1972. Any such unneeded property may be disposed of by the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority under such rules and regulations as may be adopted by such authority. The provisions of this subsection (6) shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1997.
(7) The Division of Motor Vehicle Management shall analyze program needs and perform a break-even analysis to determine the need for disposal actions and replacement vehicle procurements.
SECTION 20. Section 29-9-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
29-9-13. Representatives of the State Department of Audit under the direction of the State Auditor of Public Accounts, in making regular audits of the different state agencies, shall reconcile all invoices and records with the agencies' property inventories, and shall make a check or physical audit of the actual items or properties shown on their inventories and related records. Each state agency, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, when requested to do so, shall furnish a competent person or persons to assist in this check or physical audit. The auditor shall keep his records current at all times and shall report to the agency concerned any such changes made and the general status of the inventory involved, on the completion of each audit. This report shall also be included in the audit reports of the State Department of Audit covering the different state agencies. The State Auditor shall use such reports from the State Department of Audit to correct and maintain current the inventories in his office.
The State Auditor shall implement usage codes to differentiate between vehicles used primarily to transport individuals and their equipment from one location to another location to perform various types of work tasks and vehicles used for performing various types of work while incidentally transporting individuals and their equipment between locations and shall include codes to show the legal authority for the ownership and operation of each vehicle.
SECTION 21. The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee shall perform a biannual performance audit of the management, operation and support services of the Division of Motor Vehicle Management and the vehicle management system of the institutions of higher learning if it establishes such a system.
SECTION 22. Sections 25-1-85 and 25-1-93, Mississippi Code of 1972, are hereby repealed.
SECTION 23. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.