Source: Govt to review vehicle policy | The Herald November 27, 2018
Government is undertaking policy review regarding procedures guiding acquisition, replacement, disposal, repair and maintenance of its fleet of vehicles as part of a host of measures to contain costs, arrest corruption and improve efficiency.
Presenting next year’s $8,16 billion Budget estimates in Parliament last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said a vehicle tracking system would be introduced to monitor and collect information in real-time on vehicle performance, including unwanted behaviour from drivers such as speeding and going off-route.
The improvement in fleet management system is likely to provide cost effective logistical services to the public service in general, Minister Ncube said.
Minister Ncube proposed many strategies, some of which would see some ministries and departments ceding vehicle purchasing roles and management to the CMED (Pvt) Ltd.
“In this regard, a review of policies and procedures guiding acquisition, replacement, disposal, repair and maintenance of vehicles, in order to provide cost effective logistical services to the public service, will be undertaken,” he said.
“Similarly, all Government pool vehicles will be transferred and centrally managed through CMED (Pvt) Ltd. Entities with capacity to maintain their fleet will be excluded from this directive.
“CMED (Pvt) Ltd will develop a centralised database of the fleet, with allocations to ministries being determined by need. This will allow for right sizing of the fleet and maximise on utilisation by redeploying underutilised vehicles to those in need, which may reduce the need to procure new vehicles.”
Government realised in the past that there had been some shenanigans in the old procurement systems which over-purchased vehicles and at times allocated them to undeserving officials.
Minister Ncube said in addition, CMED (Pvt) Ltd would be responsible for Government vehicle purchases, from all resources appropriated, retained and statutorily provided for, in order to reduce on leakages from procurement, as well as benefit from economies of scale.
He said consistent with the thrust towards fiscal consolidation, and the need to redirect foreign currency resources towards critical projects and programmes, it had become necessary that further review on condition of service vehicles be implemented.
“The number and type of vehicles applicable to Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Permanent Secretaries will be reviewed in order to align with our thrust towards cost reduction,” said Minister Ncube.
“The new framework will be cascaded to other categories of the Public Service such as independent commissions, Parliament, Judiciary and State entities.
“With regards to replacement of vehicles, adherence to the measures enunciated in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme will be enforced.”
Although information on the number of vehicles on Government asset list could not be obtained, the State remains one of the biggest user of vehicles.
However, their deployment and use in some isolated cases has been a matter of concern as some vehicles would not be accounted for.
In the old dispensation, the Central Bank bought and distributed Government vehicles to individuals and organisations and up to now some of those cars have never been reclaimed.
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