State tax savings touted

Oklahoma taxpayers are set to realize savings through the implementation of a plan to modernize the way state government assigns the state’s fleet of several thousand vehicles.

Officials with the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) told House Government Modernization committee members today that 2012 legislation authored by state Rep. David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow) and signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin will allow them to better analyze and track how state employees use state cars.

Brumbaugh’s legislation closed down loopholes that had exempted some state agencies from having to report vehicle-related data  to centralized fleet officials.

“With increased tracking of these vehicles, and with the closure of these loopholes state officials can plan on the wise disbursement of fleet resources so as the maximize savings on behalf of the taxpayer,” said Brumbaugh.

Speaking on behalf of the OMES, John Morrison told committee members that his agency plans to deploy a variety of technologies to allow multiple agencies to access state fleet cars. The should allow OMES to ensure each car services more agency customers and could allow the fleet to downsize.

Committee members also received testimony from Oklahoma Energy Secretary Michael Ming regarding Governor Fallin’s plan to convert the fleet to vehicles capable of using CNG. Oklahoma continues to lead negotiations with auto manufacturers to drive down the cost of CNG vehicles so that a cost savings could be realized as soon as the second year following the deploying of each CNG vehicle.

Government Modernization Committee Chairman Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said the committee’s study of the state fleet would likely be a precursor to aggressive fleet reform legislation during the upcoming legislative session.

The committee will return on Thursday to explore additional ideas for cost savings and efficiency.