2005 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Thames
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-1-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE THE OFFICE OF FLEET MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF COORDINATING AND PROMOTING EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY IN THE PURCHASE, LEASE, RENTAL, USE, MAINTENANCE AND DISPOSAL OF VEHICLES BY STATE AGENCIES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-1-79 AND 25-1-81, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-1-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-77. (1) There is hereby created within the Department of Finance and Administration the Office of Fleet Management for the purposes of coordinating and promoting efficiency and economy in the purchase, lease, rental, use, maintenance and disposal of vehicles by state agencies. The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may employ a Fleet Management Officer to manage the office and carry out its purposes. The office may employ other suitable and competent personnel as necessary.
(2) The Office of Fleet Management shall gather information and provide recommendations to the various agencies and institutions to assist in proper fleet management.
(3) The Office of Fleet Management may obtain applicable fleet management software and require the agencies and institutions to provide necessary information to allow the office to properly monitor the size, use, maintenance and disposal of the state's fleet of vehicles. The office shall communicate regularly with the fleet managers from each agency and institution to determine strengths and weaknesses of the various fleet operations. The office shall disseminate information to the agencies and institutions so that each can take advantage of any beneficial practices being incorporated at other entities. The office shall also provide guidance concerning the mileage reimbursement practices of each state agency.
(4) The Office of Fleet Management may request from any agency a vehicle acquisition/use/disposal plan on an annual basis. From the plans received, the office shall evaluate the proposed plans and shall submit a recommendation to the Legislature prior to January 1 of each year.
(5) No state department, institution or agency shall purchase any motor vehicle, regardless of the source of funds from which the motor vehicle is to be purchased, except under authority granted by the Department of Finance and Administration. The Office of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the purchase of any motor vehicle by a state department, institution or agency with regard to the appropriateness of the vehicle to its intended use. The Office of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall not grant authority to purchase a motor vehicle which is not the most appropriate vehicle type for its intended use unless specifically approved by the Legislature.
(6) It is not the intent of the Legislature for the Office of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, to determine the sufficient number of motor vehicles needed by each state department, institution or agency, but to regulate the purchase so that the vehicle is the most appropriate type for its intended use. Further, it is the intent of the Legislature that any motor vehicle purchased shall be made with due concern for economical and efficient use, but shall also meet the needs of the department, institution or agency. The department, institution or agency shall maintain proper documentation * * * which provides the intended use of the vehicle and the basis for choosing the vehicle. Such documentation shall show that the department, institution or agency made reasonable efforts to purchase a vehicle that is economical and appropriate for its intended use. Such documentation shall be updated as needed when the intended use of the vehicle or any other facts concerning the vehicle are changed. All such documentation shall be approved by the State Fleet Officer prior to purchase or change in use of any vehicle and shall be maintained and made available for review by the State Auditor and any other reviewing agency.
(7) The State Auditor shall make on-site visits and conduct audits necessary to ensure the intent of this section. On or before September 1 of each year, the State Auditor shall prepare and deliver to the Senate and House Fees, Salaries and Administration Committees and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a report containing any irregularities that he finds concerning purchases of state-owned vehicles.
SECTION 2. Section 25-1-79, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-79. It shall be unlawful for any officer, employee or other person whatsoever to use or permit or authorize the use of any automobile or any other motor vehicle owned by the State of Mississippi or any department, agency or institution thereof for any purpose other than upon the official business of the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or institution thereof. Further, it shall be unlawful for any such officer or employee to be paid or to receive any sums whatsoever for travel expense until the expenses for which payment is made, and each item thereof, have been actually incurred by such officer or employee, and then only upon the presentation of an itemized expense account which shall be approved in writing by the head of the department, agency or institution on whose behalf such travel is performed. However, it is expressly provided that any such officer or employee traveling * * * on business for and in behalf of the State of Mississippi may, strictly in the discretion of an agency, institution or department head, receive in advance from state funds for the purpose of such travel expense a sum to be specified by such aforementioned superior. Further, strict account of any sum so advanced must be kept in accord with Section 25-1-81.
SECTION 3. Section 25-1-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-81. The Department of Finance and Administration 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 Department of Finance and Administration 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 State Auditor. Each agency, department or institution, in rendering its annual report to the Office of Fleet Management and 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 traveled per automobile, the total miles traveled, the average cost per mile and the depreciation estimate on each automobile. Such report shall also show the cost per mile and total number of miles traveled in privately owned automobiles for which reimbursement is made out of state funds and any other information requested by the Office of Fleet Management.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.