Bill focuses on state vehicle fleet

CHARLESTON — West Virginia may be closer to accounting for all the vehicles in the state fleet.

Delegates made strides toward that goal during a House Government Organization Committee on Friday.

The committee passed House Bill 4015 unanimously, recommending it to the House floor for full passage.

HB 4015 aims to transfer the state Fleet Management Division to the Department of Administration from the Purchasing Division.

Exemptions allowed in the Purchasing Division have made accounting difficult, committee counsel Arlie Hubbard said.

“This bill rectifies that situation,” Hubbard said.

Doing a fresh inventory on state vehicles through the updated registration process would aid in tracking in the future. Accounting for state vehicles would begin to fall under the state OASIS record-keeping system.

Expiring state vehicle license plates also would change from a green and white design to blue and gold.

During the 2017 legislative session with discussion of a similar bill, the state Auditor’s Office estimated West Virginia owns between 7,600 to 12,600 vehicles.

This year’s bill is a “better bill than last year’s (bill),” Hubbard told Delegate Michael Ferro, D-Marshall, when the minority chair asked counsel’s opinion Friday.

“It streamlines a lot of the processes,” Hubbard added. “Last year’s bill didn’t have all of the inventory placed in OASIS. This year, it’s clear that all of the data will be in OASIS.”

State agencies would be required to report utilization of vehicles to fleet management.

Hubbard reported the Division of Motor Vehicles puts its estimates at 10,500 vehicles, with DMV costs associated with implementing the changes at $155,000, covering registration cards, new titles, two new license plates (front and rear) per vehicle, labor and postage.

No additional costs of increased hiring of DMV staff nor anticipated overtime was included, Hubbard said.

That information was verified by Mike Maggard, director of vehicle services for the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

“This would integrate with our current processes,” Maggard said.

Estimated labor and postage costs may go down, Maggard added, especially if plates were not mailed individually.

“Our estimates were based on the information we had at the time,” he told the committee.

An updated cost analysis from DMV was requested by committee.

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