County Adopts New Vehicle Policy

GREENSBURG (September 23) – The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners, in consultation with the County Controller, today unanimously passed a new policy to better manage the county’s fleet of vehicles, protect taxpayers’ investment and ensure compliance with the federal tax code.

“Westmoreland County taxpayers rightfully expect us to effectively manage publicly purchased assets, like vehicles, and also ensure that they are being used properly by county employees,” said Commissioner Ted Kopas. “This policy accomplishes both of these goals. The policy also specifically prohibits County Commissioners from having a county vehicle assigned to them, marking a significant break from past practices.”

“As a result of the findings of a 2007 audit of the county fleet and fuel policy, as well as to come into compliance with the IRS code, it was necessary to rewrite the vehicle policy,” said Controller Carmen Pedicone. “This joint effort with the Commissioners’ office tightens controls on personal and work use of employee provided vehicles. I am comfortable this policy will meet IRS tax reporting requirements and at the same time define operator responsibilities.”

The county’s new vehicle policy replaces a policy that was last updated in 1988. In addition to enumerating employees’ responsibilities for operating vehicles to best ensure safety, it contains several key provisions for the county to better manage, and protect, its 125-vehicle fleet, including:

  • The policy encourages employees to use county-owned fleet vehicles for official business, which is more cost effective than employees using their personal vehicles and being reimbursed for mileage.
  • The policy defines, and limits, the requirements for an employees to take a vehicle home overnight.
  • The policy prohibits the personal use of county-owned vehicles and defines the types of passengers that may ride in a county-owned vehicle.
  • The policy mandates that, with the exception of undercover police vehicles, all vehicles will bear identification signifying it is a Westmoreland County vehicle.
  • The policy prohibits drivers from using mobile phones (including texting) while operating a vehicle, unless required by emergency personnel responding to a call.
  • The policy requires usage logs for all vehicles and operators that will be maintained by the county’s fleet coordinator.

In addition, the policy specifies the procedures for issuance and classification of vehicles within the county. It also addresses the operators’ responsibilities for any tax responsibilities related to the use of a vehicle.

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