A more efficient method of managing state-owned vehicles will soon be developed thanks to legislation signed by Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday.
Governor Bentley held a ceremonial signing for Senate Bill 57, which authorizes the Alabama Department of Transportation to review state agency fleets and develop a statewide program to achieve cost savings and greater efficiencies in operating state vehicles.
"This is a continuation of our efforts to make government more efficient and save money for taxpayers," Governor Bentley said. "The goal of this program is to find the lowest possible cost per mile driven on our state-owned vehicles. A fleet management program is one of the recommendations made by the Commission on Improving State Government, which I established to help us reduce government costs and operate more efficiently. I am proud to sign this legislation that helps us accomplish this goal."
Approximately 8,800 state-owned vehicles are operated by various agencies, departments, commissions and boards in Alabama. However, there is not a uniform program for managing those vehicles throughout the various entities. Senate Bill 57 addresses that issue and establishes ALDOT as the primary department responsible for assessing the state's fleet and developing a streamlined, uniform management program.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster).
"It's been a real pleasure working with Governor Bentley as well as the Legislative Joint Oversight Committee on Energy to develop this piece of legislation that, in short, saves taxpayers money. And that's something we should all strive to achieve," Ward said.
Senate Bill 57 complements an executive order signed by Governor Bentley in March. The executive order established an Office of Fleet Management and a Fleet Manager within ALDOT. Willie Bradley Jr. has been hired to serve in this capacity. Bradley is currently conducting a detailed assessment of the state's fleet.
"Our goal is to reduce costs to the state while also meeting the needs of agencies that rely on state-owned vehicles," Bradley said. "We will explore several options for saving money, such as short-term and long-term leasing. We also have potential for savings through buying in bulk across state agencies and establishing more efficient maintenance and replacement procedures. By bringing state agencies and departments into a uniform program, there is tremendous potential for reducing costs to taxpayers."
The assessment of state-owned vehicles is expected to be complete by September 30 of this year. ALDOT will then use the information developed from the assessment to finalize a detailed plan to meet the needs of entities utilizing state-owned vehicles.