Procurement, utilization of, and disposition of motor vehicles is subject to regulation by DOAS and OPB Policy Memorandum #10, “Rules, Regulations and Procedures Governing the Use and Assignment of Motor Vehicles, Purchase, Operation and Disposal of Motor Vehicles and Associated Record-keeping,” dated September 30, 2005. Generally, this policy provides for the following major provisions:
Each institution must assign a fleet coordinator to manage all motor vehicle activities. The fleet coordinator will serve as the contact for OPB and DOAS.
Each institution must file detailed information concerning the motor vehicles owned and/or operated on campus.
Note: This does not include tractors, forklifts, or other vehicles that do not carry passengers and are not operated on public highways.
Each institution must re-certify the assignment of vehicles to individuals and include information that provides that the employee drove more than 14,000 business miles during the previous fiscal year.
Note: If the business mileage driven is less than 14,000 miles, the vehicle assignment must be rescinded.
3.2.1 Purchasing Vehicles
The OPB Policy Memorandum #10, Section II, item 5 provides detailed guidance on vehicle purchases that shall be followed by all USG institutions. Among the guidance issued by OPB includes criteria that must be met to justify purchase of new vehicles and of replacement vehicles. These criteria include the following:
Justification for new vehicle
- Current agency vehicles are being used as originally presented for budget justification.
- New vehicles are for additional staff or new program/unit.
- Utilized minimum of 14,000 miles for state business.
Justification for replacement vehicle
- Old vehicle destroyed.
- Old vehicle meets replacement criteria.
- Replacement vehicle will be “like kind” unless DOAS authorizes otherwise based on written justification provided by agency.
- All current agency vehicles are being used as originally presented for budget justification.
- No current vehicles are available to replace any worn out vehicles.
Normally, only new vehicles may be purchased. DOAS has authority to grant permission to purchase used vehicles or to enter into lease agreements for vehicles but the institution must provide justification if seeking such permission. All vehicles must be ordered using DOAS statewide contracts.
3.2.2 Disposing of Vehicles
Institutions shall dispose of their vehicles through State Surplus Property. Upon receipt of the new vehicle, the receiving institution has sixty (60) days to deliver the surplus vehicle to a state surplus property location, along with the required documentation.
3.2.3 Transferring Vehicles
The new policy states: “The transfer of vehicles directly between agencies is not authorized by this policy, unless the law specifically authorizes the transfer”.
The transfer of vehicles between USG institutions is allowed with the proper inventory transfer records maintained since the entire university system operates like one state agency. If an institution desires to transfer a vehicle to an agency outside of the USG, then the institution must submit a State Surplus Property Transfer form and invoice via DOAS for approval.
3.2.4 Assigning Vehicles
The following conditions must be met in order for a state employee to qualify for the assignment of a vehicle:
State employees who annually drive more than 14,000 State business miles in order to routinely conduct state business, as determined by the respective agency head.
Employees whose positions require them to perform duties of a sworn POST-certified/registered law enforcement officer AND having a vehicle specially equipped for law enforcement purposes is essential for the employee to carry out their job functions.
Additionally, more detailed guidance on individual assignment of vehicles is provided in Section I of the OPB Policy Memorandum #10.
All vehicle assignment requests must be prepared and submitted using the web-based DOAS MV1 Vehicle Assignment System at the following web site: http://ofm.doas.georgia.gov/. Select Web-Based MV1 Vehicle Assignment. Specific instructions on how to prepare and submit these requests are given on this page.
3.2.5 Using Vehicles To and From Employee’s Residences Authorization
Employees assigned vehicles are not authorized to drive state vehicles to and from their residences unless at least one of the following conditions apply:
The vehicle is assigned to the USG Chancellor.
The vehicle is used for emergency use or specially equipped and used for a related mission, and the vehicle is rarely driven to a central work site from the employee’s home.
Employee works out of his or her home and travels to different work sites on successive days.
There is no overnight security at the employee’s work site where there is evidence of vandalism, and security cannot be obtained for modest cost nearby.
An employee must travel directly to a remote site from his or her home the following morning, and the employee will suffer great inconvenience by having to drop a vehicle off at his or her office at the end of a work day during which the employee has used the vehicle in an authorized manner.
Accounting for Commuting Use of Vehicles for Federal Reporting
Employees who have been pre-approved to drive their agency assigned vehicle to and from work and their residence on a regular basis are considered by the Internal Revenue Code to have derived gross income from such use of their vehicles. The amount of such derived gross income is specified in the Internal Revenue Code, and permits most employees to value commuting use at $1.50 per one-way trip. The code requires that such income be reported with other gross income on individuals’ income tax returns, and that taxes and FICA be paid on such income.
There are other conditions and exceptions that may apply. Internal Revenue Code (Publication 15-B, Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits) should be referenced for additional information. Additionally, institutions may request clarification in writing from the Department of Law by making their request to the University System Legal Office.
The Internal Revenue Code also requires:
- That employees report the number of commuting trips they make to their employers.
- That the employers withhold associated taxes and FICA.
- That the employers report such income and withholdings on individual employees’ W-2 forms.
- That the employers remit all withholdings and the employers’ share of any owed FICA to the Internal Revenue Service.
At the end of each calendar year, institutions should adjust their employer shares of FICA payments based on employees reported actual commuting trips. Similarly, employees should report their actual number of commuting trips on their tax forms and either remit additional payments or claim refunds accordingly. Institutions that feel their employees are exempt from this federal requirement should request confirmation in writing from the Department of Law.
These issues are addressed in more detail in memoranda issued by the Department of Law. Institutions needing more detail should contact the Department of Law.
3.2.6 Record Keeping Requirement
Each institution shall establish an internal form for each vehicle owned. This form will be completed monthly, identifying:
- The vehicle and assigned driver,
- State and personal (including commuting) mileage driven daily,
- The locations of beginning and ending stops made daily, and
- The number of commuting trips made daily.
Only summary mileage and cost information must be maintained monthly for vehicles typically confined to campus areas, except for trips required for fuel and maintenance, and not used for commuting.
Vehicle Allowances for the USG Chancellor
The vehicle allowance is subject to the IRS “accountable plan” that allows all documented expenditures to be non-taxable. Allowable expenses are only state-business miles driven. The Chancellor will be required to provide monthly documentation of state-business miles driven. Any amount of the allowance that is not supported by actual documentation will be converted to wages and subject to income tax withholding and payment of Social Security and Medicare. The conversion to wages will be calculated using the current state mileage reimbursement rate that applies to official travel via private automobile, as noted in BPM Section 4.6.2. No amounts included in income will be treated as salary for retirement system purposes.