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Fairfax County Board Addresses Government Vehicle Mileage

September 28, 2006

The board of supervisors for Fairfax County in Virginia have demanded that employees be disciplined if they are caught running up mileage on their government cars to avoid losing them, according to The Washington Post.The board also made 5,000 miles the minimum an employee assigned a car must drive annually to keep it, raising the total from 4,500 miles and acknowledging that the number is below the state government average of 7,000 to 10,000 miles. An effort to weed unnecessary cars from the motor pool of 3,500 sedans, trucks and heavy-equipment vehicles began in 2004. The county auditor concluded that Fairfax could save more than $1 million a year by trimming it, The Post reports.The county's 11,500 employees and supervisors were told that cars accruing fewer than 4,500 miles a year would be confiscated, with exceptions made for police, fire and some other officials. A total of 160 cars have been squeezed out over three years, from a pool of about 900 considered eligible. A recent Post report detailed how employees from fire investigators to caseworkers, faced with the prospect of losing cars that have relatively few miles accrued, set out to drive them more.Hundreds of e-mails and memos obtained by The Post under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act revealed a host of strategies used by county employees, including swapping cars with co-workers who drive more and filling up gas on the last day of the fiscal year to register miles driven on the last tank.
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