@NCCapitol

State to create database to track motor fleet

Posted December 14, 2011

— North Carolina's government watchdog agency says it's impossible to evaluate whether state government's motor vehicle fleet is used efficiently because there's no standard way to keep track of its use.

The Program Evaluation Division released its findings Wednesday to a legislative oversight committee. The report says North Carolina lacks a centralized clearing house to count how many passenger vehicles the state owns and their costs. Investigators say the roughly 29,000 vehicles reported by individual agencies underestimates the size of the fleet.

Pamela Taylor of the Program Evaluation Division said there are 2,345 more active state-owned license plates than there are state-owned cars to put them on.

State-owned vehicle, state license plate Study: NC doesn't know number of state-owned vehicles

"We'd like to know where those 2,300 cars are. We'd like to know who's driving them, and we'd like to know how much fuel they're using and how much the maintenance costs," said Sen. Debbie Clary, R-Cleveland.

Most state agencies don't even track their vehicle costs, Taylor said.

The report recommends agencies clean up their vehicle lists and lawmakers direct the creation of an electronic motor fleet management system. The $50,000 database is expected to be operational sometime next year.

"I think (a central database) would pay for itself because (you're) knowing where your state fleet is and what the usage of the state fleet is," Clary said.

Anne Bander, chief operating officer of the state Department of Administration, which manages the motor fleet, said she had just seen the report and couldn't provide an immediate response.

The report comes two years after a WRAL News investigation found that state agencies were paying millions of dollars for vehicles to sit in parking lots.

State officials recently ordered changes to motor fleet rules so that, effective Jan. 1, agencies are billed only for the miles they drive, along with a $35 monthly charge per vehicle to cover insurance.

Previously, the Motor Fleet Management Division charged for a monthly minimum of 1,050 miles per car and more for each mile over that to cover maintenance, insurance and gas. If cars traveled fewer than 1,050 miles a month, agencies still have had to pay the flat rate.

41 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 19, 2011

    @Nancy, are we reading the same story?

    1- NC has already instituted new rules effective Jan. 1 to save money.

    2- The report recommends agencies clean up their vehicle lists

    3- The report recommends lawmakers direct the creation of an electronic motor fleet management system

    Again, the State sees a problem and is working to fix it.

  • jenforthewin Dec 16, 2011

    This just in: State of NC develops a committee to consider the use of a computer as a possible method of housing said database vs. a paper ledger.

  • Nancy Dec 15, 2011

    "The State sees a problem and is working to fix it. They have already taken some steps towards reducing costs."

    Really? How can they reduce costs when they don't know what they own and the value of the fleet (which they don't know the number of)?

    Read - note the date:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/wral_investigates/story/8777146/

  • farm Dec 15, 2011

    "I just love the lack of a simple history lesson, you think this just happened overnight, this has been happening for Years , possibly decades, get real will ya"

    OK maybe Easley or Hunt can put the spin on it......

  • Save It Dec 15, 2011

    "Seriously? If it wasn't for the fact it is our tax $$$ being wasted so carelessly it would be laughable."

    Really? Accounting for the user of state assets is a waste of taxpayer money? Explain yourself.

  • Save It Dec 15, 2011

    "$50k is less than *one* year's salary for *one* not-very-experienced IT person. The idea that there will be a stable, statewide system up and running in a year, especially starting from scratch, is hilarious. The idea that it will cost $50,000 is just a riot."

    It's called contracting. This ain't rocket science logistics, like shipping. A skilled logistics developer can create the database table structure and the app to track 2300 vehicles in less than 90 days to implementation. Using existing servers and spinning up a new database using already employed state IT staff removes a lot of the cost.

    I know several developers who can and would do this for 40-50K in less than 90 days. So do headhunters for the state.

  • KermitDFrog Dec 15, 2011

    That's why companies like UPS and FedEx have GPS monitors on the trucks. Private industry always seeks to improve efficiency. No reason the state shouldn't use them.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 15, 2011

    The State sees a problem and is working to fix it. They have already taken some steps towards reducing costs.

    I guess that doesn't slow down the whiners here, though...

  • map1agmachining Dec 15, 2011

    So a private business that has a fleet of cars & trucks has to keep track of their vehicles, have logs, mileage, and fuel receipts.
    You have to wonder why they haven't! Gotta love it!

  • Save It Dec 15, 2011

    "We'd like to know where those 2,300 cars are. We'd like to know who's driving them, and we'd like to know how much fuel they're using and how much the maintenance costs,"

    Ya think? Welcome to 2011 NC. Are you going to be running this new database on your state of the art 1994 Novell servers? Let me guess...dbase IV?

More...