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Document Code No.: FES 12-6 (AEP)
Department/Issuing Agency: Transportation, Fleet Administration Division
Effective Date: January 19, 2009
Approved: /s/ Ron Sims
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 413 KB)


1.0 SUBJECT TITLE: Light Duty Vehicle Utilization Policy

1.1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 10 days after Executive Signature

1.2 TYPE OF ACTION: New

1.3 KEY WORDS: Automobiles, pickup trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, utilization.

2.0 PURPOSE: To assure that the King County light duty vehicle fleet is appropriately sized to serve the business needs of the county, that the vehicles are efficiently utilized and that there is sound justification for retaining them in county ownership.

3.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED: All executive branch departments, offices, divisions and agencies including Assessments and the Sheriff's Office.

4.0 REFERENCES:

4.1 FES 12-1-2 (AEP) Use of King County Vehicles

4.2 FES 12-4 (AEP) Vehicle and Equipment Acquisition, Commercial rental and Leasing, Employee Provided Vehicles, and Disposition

4.3 PER 17-1-2 (AEP) Authorized Travel, Meal and Expense Reimbursement for County Employees

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1 "Agency Fleet Managers" means Fleet Administration Division, which manages the vehicle fleets for most executive branch agencies, and those individuals who manage separate fleets for agencies such as the Airport, Public Health, Solid Waste and Transit.

5.2 "Agency Heads" means separately elected executive branch officials such as the Assessor and the Sheriff, as well as the appointive heads of administrative offices.

5.3 "Executive Branch Agency" means those agencies of King County which make up the executive branch of government. In accordance with the King County Charter, these include the department of Assessments and the King County Sheriff's Office, as well as the departments and administrative offices which report to the county executive.

5.4 "Heavy Special Purpose Vehicles" means large vehicles such as trucks and buses heavier than one ton capacity or 8,600 lbs. gross vehicle weight.

5.5. "Light Duty Vehicles" means sedans, station wagons, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks, etc. having a capacity of one ton or less.

5.6 "Specially Equipped Vehicles" means cars, pickup trucks, vans and SUVs which have special equipment mounted on or in them. This equipment makes them better suited for their intended purpose and unsuitable for use as general purpose vehicles. Examples are marked Sheriff's vehicles, medical service vehicles, prisoner transport vehicles and cargo vans equipped with racks and shelves for special equipment.

5.7 "Vehicle Justification Review Committee" means the decision-making committee established to determine whether or not there is sufficient business justification for agencies to retain vehicles which appear to be underutilized.

6.0 POLICIES:

6.1 These policies relate to the utilization of light duty motor vehicles operated by King County Executive Branch agencies. The policies cover vehicles which can be licensed to operate on public roads.

6.2 These policies do not cover large or off-road vehicles such as transit buses, inmate transportation buses, trucks with a capacity of more than one ton, road construction equipment, forklifts, farm tractors, golf carts, lawn mowers, all-terrain vehicles, neighborhood electric vehicles, etc.

6.3 Each executive branch department director, division director or agency head shall have responsibility for determining the number and nature of vehicles needed to meet the business needs of his or her agency. They shall also have responsibility for managing the effective use of county owned vehicles.

6.4 Every King County executive branch agency shall establish policies, procedures and best practices designed to meet the business needs of the agency and operate the vehicles under its control at the lowest effective cost per mile for the life of the vehicle.

Agencies will review and ensure that each vehicle is the right size and type for the work it is required to perform. Purchasing a vehicle which is unnecessarily large or powerful may result in higher than necessary capital costs and fuel costs. Purchasing a vehicle which is too small or light for the work it is required to perform may result in abnormally high repair and maintenance costs.

6.5 Every King County executive branch agency shall exercise maximum energy conservation practices in conducting official county business. Agencies will make their vehicle fleets environmentally friendly by purchasing the most fuel efficient, low emission vehicles, which are capable of meeting the county's business needs within available budget. Agency Fleet Managers can help guide purchase decisions with the most current vehicle information and alternates to meet business needs.

All agencies are to continuously review staffing assignments and field operations with the objective of minimizing travel and consolidating trips where possible. They shall ensure adequate maintenance of assigned vehicles, provide employee orientation on the necessity for driving within legal speed limits, and employ other means as necessary to achieve energy conservation.

6.6 Agencies within the King County executive branch shall review the utilization of light duty county vehicles operated by their staff. The minimum vehicle utilization standards contained in this policy shall be used to identify vehicles which may be underutilized. Agencies may retain vehicles which appear to be underutilized if retaining them can be justified through the explanation of non-mileage based business requirements. If the retention of a vehicle cannot be sufficiently justified in its current use, it must be reassigned to another part of the agency or another part of the county where more intensive utilization is expected. If reassignment is not practical, it must be disposed of as surplus to the county.

In accordance with Executive policy established in FES 12-1-2 (AEP): "No employee shall be required to use a private vehicle to perform county business unless such use is a precondition of employment, part of a collective bargaining agreement, or a response to an emergency."

6.7 The following table lists categories of vehicles and the minimum utilization standards for each category:

Vehicle Category

Description

Mileage Standard

General Purpose

Sedans, station wagons, minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks (1/4, ½, ¾ and 1 ton)

7,200 miles per year or used on 70% of working days

Base, or Facility Vehicle

Vehicle primarily operates on a base, or a facility such as a wastewater treatment plant

70% of working days

Specially Equipped

Marked Sheriff's vehicles
Medical service vans
Cargo vans

Inmate transportation vans
Inmate transportation autos etc

5,000 miles or 70% of working days

Required by another agency

Contract city vehicles

Exempt from this policy

Heavy Special Purpose

Trucks heavier than 1 ton ( 8,600 GVW )
Semi-trucks
Flat bed trucks
Transit buses
Inmate transportation buses
Mobile health clinics
Mobile command centers


Exempt from this policy

7.0 PROCEDURES:

7.1 Fleet Administration will coordinate the vehicle utilization review process and the collection of data for that process. Fleet will provide vehicle utilization information to those agencies for which it is the agency fleet manager. Fleet Administration will also gather data related to vehicle utilization by the agencies operating separate fleets of vehicles. Fleet Administration will prepare and distribute reports on vehicle utilization. The reports will include the vehicles of all executive branch agencies.

7.2 Agency fleet managers shall provide vehicle fleet utilization data to Fleet Administration on an annual basis or as needed for the review process. This data shall include the identification of vehicles which appear to be underutilized. Vehicle underutilization will be determined based on the standards contained in Section 6.7.

7.3 Department directors, division directors and agency heads shall review the vehicle utilization data and research the business need for any vehicles which appear to be underutilized.

7.4 Department directors, division directors and agency heads shall determine whether or not vehicles are satisfactorily utilized in meeting their agency's business needs. Vehicles must either be justified on the basis of meeting minimum standards for utilization mileage, or days of use, or on the basis of other non-mileage based business reasons. Vehicles that cannot be justified will be assigned to another part of the agency where more intensive use is expected, or turned over to the agency fleet manager for reassignment or if reassignment is not practical they will be disposed of through surplus auction.

7.5 In the case of vehicles which appear to be underutilized, but are needed to meet the business requirements of the agency, the department director, division director or agency head will submit a justification form to the Vehicle Justification Review Committee. The form will contain a sufficient amount of information to allow the committee to consider the matter and concur or not concur with the justifications. The department director, division director or agency head will sign the form, indicating that all information presented is accurate.

7.6 A Vehicle Justification Review Committee will be established to review and make decisions on agency justifications for the retention of vehicles which appear to be underutilized. The Vehicle Justification Review Committee will consist of a core of five members. Four will be appointed by the directors of the agencies which are the largest users of light duty vehicles. Those agencies are Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health, the Sheriff's Office and Transportation. One member will be selected at-large from other departments which request to appoint a member of the committee. The Review Committee may be expanded to include two additional members if additional agencies request the opportunity to place members on the committee.

7.7 Fleet Administration will provide staff support to the Vehicle Justification Review Committee.

7.8 The Vehicle Justification Review Committee will notify each agency of its determination regarding the justifications offered for retaining a vehicle which appears to be underutilized. If the committee does not concur with the agency justifications for retaining a vehicle, it will advise the department director, division director or agency head that the vehicle is underutilized and may not be retained for its current use.

7.9 If the department director, division director or agency head for the agency operating the vehicle disagrees with the decision of the Vehicle Justification Review Committee, the decision of that committee may be appealed to the Office of Management and Budget ( OMB).

7.10 The Office of Management and Budget will review the information presented to the Vehicle Justification Review Committee, plus any other relevant information and make a decision. The decision of the OMB shall be final. If the decision does not concur with the decision of the Vehicle Justification Review Committee, the OMB shall provide Fleet Administration with a summary of the basis for the decision.

7.11 Fleet Administration will maintain a list of vehicle justification review decisions. The list will state whether or not the committee concurred or did not concur with the justifications for retention of each vehicle which appeared to be underutilized. It will also state the decision made by the OMB on those which were appealed to OMB. The list will be made available to the agency directors, the agency fleet managers, the Vehicle Utilization Policy Committee members, to Vehicle Justification Review Committee members, and to the OMB on request.

8.0 RESPONSIBILITIES

8.1 Executive branch department directors, division directors or agency heads are responsible for determining the number and nature of vehicles needed to meet the business needs of his or her agency. They shall also have responsibility for managing the effective use of county owned vehicles.

8.2 Executive branch department directors, division directors or agency heads are responsible for establishing policies, procedures and best practices designed to meet the business needs of the agency and operate the vehicles under its control at the lowest effective cost per mile for the life of the vehicle.

8.3 Agency directors are responsible for reviewing the utilization of light duty county vehicles operated by their staff.

8.4 Fleet Administration is responsible for providing staff support to the Vehicle Justification Review Committee

9.0 APPENDICES:
None