Fleet management law sends good message

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 1, 2006

A new state law going into effect in July hopefully serve as areminder to state agency leaders and employees that they arespending taxpayers’ money when they are conducting statebusiness.

Unfortunately, according to media reports and the impetus forthe new law, many employees are using state vehicles for a varietyof personal errands and business. The Bureau of Fleet Management,which was created by the new law, will be tasked with weeding outsuch waste and finding more efficient oversight of the state’salmost 10,000 vehicles.

The new law also calls for more regulation of cellular telephonepurchases and usage contracts.

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With examples of agencies spending hundreds of dollars for newRAZR phones coming to light, this move could not be more timely.And on the vehicle front, big, high-chrome Mississippi Departmentof Transportation trucks as we’ve seen around town lately areanother example of unnecessary spending.

The new law outlaws use of state vehicles and cell phones forpersonal business. Employees face termination if caught, said Rep.John Reeves, R-Jackson.

There is no question state agencies and employees providevaluable services to Mississippians.

However, what can be questioned is why those agencies andemployees feel they need the “latest and greatest” gadgets andvehicles when the ones they have now are in good working order andmeet their needs. We hope the new law will provide answers on whythey don’t.