SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered the state’s motor vehicle fleet to be reduced by 15 percent following reports of waste and abuse regarding vehicles permitted to be taken home by state employees. The abuse was reported to the newly created Waste Watchers Web site. An internal Department of Transportation audit available on the Reporting Transparency Web site confirmed similar findings showing a lack of justification for many home storage vehicle permits. By executive order, the Governor also directed each state agency and department to conduct an immediate survey of its fleet and identify surplus vehicles to be sold at the Department of General Services’ (DGS) “Garage Sale” in late August.
“Any waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars is absolutely unacceptable. If we find it happening, we will take immediate action to correct it,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Today I am taking action to get rid of waste and abuse in the state’s vehicle fleet and ordering my Administration to reduce the fleet by 15 percent, eliminate all wasteful home storage permits, and sell surplus cars at our state garage sale next month. I want to thank all the vigilant Californians who have submitted concerns on the Waste Watchers Web site. My staff will continue to review your submissions to ensure state government operates efficiently and is accountable to the people.”
Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-14-09 (EO) to launch a comprehensive state fleet reduction effort with a projected savings in the first year of $24.1 million estimated by DGS. The EO directs all state agencies and departments that own or operate vehicles to submit a vehicle reduction plan with a timeline for implementation to the director of DGS that includes the following:
•Identify every light-duty vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less.
•Identify job classifications that are required to utilize a state vehicle in the performance of their official duties.
•Justify the business need for the agency or department to retain each vehicle.
•Identify opportunities to create vehicle pools and share vehicle resources.
•Reduce the number of vehicle storage permits by at least 20 percent and justify the need for all remaining vehicle home storage permits. Any exemption must be approved by the Secretary of the State Consumer Services Agency and Cabinet Secretary.
?Examples of proper justification for a vehicle home storage permit would be for employees who regularly respond to emergencies after hours and employees who conduct field inspections for public health and worker safety.
•Retain the newest, most fuel efficient vehicles whenever possible.
State departments and agencies will also prioritize which cars are marked for surplus to ensure the newest, most fuel efficient and greenest cars are maintained as part of the state’s vehicle fleet. After conducting a survey of vehicles that can quickly be identified as surplus, the departments and agencies will provide those surplus cars to be sold to the public at the DGS “Garage Sale” on August 28 and 29 at 1700 National Drive in Sacramento. The “Garage Sale” will include other surplus state property for sale including assorted office equipment.
Committed to transparency and rooting out waste in government, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the reporting transparency Web site last month where all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more and both internal and external audits are being posted online and encouraged state employees to report wasteful government practices on the newly created Waste Watchers feature.
The Governor also issued an executive order to reduce state spending through eliminating funding for contracts entered into by state agencies and departments after March 1, 2009 for all goods and services excluding those necessary for public safety and to prohibit entering into any new contracts. The order also directed all state departments to develop and submit to the Department of Finance plans to reduce their future spending on contracts and purchases by at least 15 percent no later than 30 days after the adoption of the revised 2009-10 budget.
The full text of the Governor’s EO is below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER S-14-09
BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
WHEREAS California’s budget and cash deficit has required critical cuts to State programs and services; and
WHEREAS the State of California has taken action to reduce current spending to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the State’s essential services are not jeopardized and the public health and safety is preserved; and
WHEREAS the State of California is committed to reducing its operating costs including those associated with the operation of its motor vehicle fleet by reducing the number of vehicles in the state fleet by 15% and by assigning State vehicles to public officers or employees pursuant to the best fiscal and fleet management practices and efficiencies currently available; and
WHEREAS the State of California is committed to ensuring there is a significant business need for employees to use a State vehicle and, when required by state or federal law, that these employees are reporting such use for tax purposes; and
WHEREAS I have established the Waste Watchers web site and hotline for people to report waste and abuse in government and several complaints have centered on the potential abuse of home storage permits that allow certain employees to take state-owned vehicles home; and
WHEREAS an internal Department of Transportation audit that is available on the Reporting Transparency in Government web page details a lack of justification for many home storage permits; and
WHEREAS the State of California is committed to removing higher-polluting vehicles from the State fleet and replacing them with newer, more fuel efficient models that are equipped with advanced pollution control systems; and
WHEREAS the State of California is committed to actively managing and reducing vehicle miles traveled, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and criteria pollutants, decreasing fleet maintenance and operating costs, reducing petroleum consumption, eliminating unnecessary travel, and supporting telecommunication technologies in lieu of in-person meetings; and
WHEREAS State agencies and departments under my direct executive authority must take all available steps to reduce the fiscal and environmental costs of operating the State’s motor vehicle fleet.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:
IT IS ORDERED that all State agencies and departments are prohibited from ordering or purchasing any new vehicles for non-emergency use. Exemptions may be approved by the Director of the Department of General Services, subject to review by the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency, only where the purchase is necessary to protect the health and safety or security of the public, where the purchase is necessary to provide critical services and functions, where a significant portion of the purchase will be made with federal stimulus funding, or where the purchase will result in significant cost savings.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that each State agency or Cabinet level department shall reduce the overall size of its fleet by at least 15 percent. Any exemption must be approved by the secretary of the State Consumer Services Agency and Cabinet Secretary.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that each State agency and department conduct an immediate survey of its fleet and identify the obvious vehicles that can be declared surplus by August 10, 2009, and assign these vehicles to the Department of General Services “Garage Sale” to be held in late August.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that by October 1, 2009, State agencies and departments that own or operate vehicles shall submit a vehicle reduction plan with a timeline for implementing the plan by April 1, 2010, to the Director of the Department of General Services that includes the following:
1. Identify every light-duty vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less.
2. Identify job classifications that are required to utilize a State vehicle in the performance of their official duties.
3. Justify the business need for the agency or department to retain each vehicle.
4. Identify opportunities to create vehicle pools and share vehicle resources.
5. Reduce the number of vehicle storage permits by at least 20 percent and justify the need for all remaining vehicle home storage permits. Any exemption must be approved by the Secretary of the State Consumer Services Agency and Cabinet Secretary.
6. Retain the newest, most fuel efficient vehicles whenever possible.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Director of the Department of General Services shall take steps to transfer vehicles between agencies and departments to ensure that the newest, most fuel efficient vehicles are used and to eliminate the oldest and least fuel efficient vehicles from the State’s motor vehicle fleet.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that by July 1, 2010, the Director of the Department of General Services shall make public the progress of meeting the 15 percent reduction by posting on its website the total number of vehicles reduced by each State agency and department, the number of vehicles that have been transferred between agencies and departments, the amount recovered from the sale of eliminated vehicles, and the anticipated cost avoidance of reduced fuel, maintenance, and insurance expenditures.
IT IS REQUESTED that other entities of State government not under my direct executive authority, including the California Public Utilities Commission, the University of California, the California State University, California Community Colleges, the legislative branch (including the Legislative Counsel Bureau), and the judicial branch, implement similar or other mitigation measures to achieve fiscal and environmental economies.
This Order is not intended to create, and does not create, any rights or benefits, whether substantive or procedural, or enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California or its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.
I FURTHER DIRECT that, as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 17th day of July 2009.
Governor of California
Secretary of State