Survey Manual

409.1 - Personal Property - Vehicle Management

This chapter establishes policy, responsibilities, and procedures for the management, operation, and maintenance of motor vehicles and equipment owned by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and operated by USGS employees in the performance of assigned duties.


OPR: Admin/Facilities and Management Services

1. Purpose. This chapter establishes policy, responsibilities, and procedures for the management, operation, and maintenance of motor vehicles and equipment owned by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and operated by USGS employees in the performance of assigned duties.

2. Authority.

A. Federal Property Management Regulations (41 CFR Chapter 101, Subchapter G).

B. Department of the Interior (DOI) Motor Vehicle Handbook (412 DM).

3. Definitions.

A. Motor Vehicle. "Motor Vehicle" means only items of equipment which are self-propelled by mechanical power, including passenger, transport, and special use vehicles which are carried as part of the vehicle fleet in the USGS property records.

B. USGS Identification Number. All USGS-owned vehicles are identified by an "I" preceding the license tag number to denote ownership by DOI. The license tag number is the USGS identification number for the vehicle and is the property survey identification number used on all forms relating to that vehicle.

C. Preventive Maintenance. "Preventive Maintenance" means the routine and scheduled inspection and servicing of motor vehicles and motor equipment in accordance with the manufacturer-specified warranty maintenance requirements. Preventive maintenance includes periodic oil changes, tune-ups, lubrications, fluid replenishment, filter changes, etc. The term "preventive maintenance" means the same as "scheduled maintenance."

4. Policy.

A. The procedures for establishing accountability for motor vehicles are identical to those for controlled property (SM 408.2) except that upon request, through the appropriate headquarters program division Administrative Officer, tags, credit cards, and decals will be furnished. See Chapter 6, Property Management Handbook (408-2-H) for detailed instructions.

B. The procurement of all vehicles must be based on ESSENTIAL NEED; the vehicles must be the smallest and most efficient that will accomplish the mission.

C. Before acquiring replacement or additional vehicles, divisions shall carefully consider utilization of vehicles which are already on hand. Under-utilization of vehicles is an indication that there are more vehicles assigned than may be required for mission accomplishment.

D. Sedans and station wagons may be acquired only if specifically authorized by the appropriation concerned or other law (31 U.S.C. 638a), and then the quantity is limited to the number specified in the appropriation act. This limitation applies to both additions to the fleet and replacements.

E. Except in emergencies, no officer or employee of the USGS will use, or authorize the use of, Government-owned vehicles for other than official purposes. Emergency conditions are those threatening loss of life or property.

5. Responsibilities.

A. The Chief, Office of Facilities and Management Services (OFMS), through the Branch of Property Management (BPM), shall:

(1) Evaluate all aspects of the USGS Motor Vehicle/Heavy Equipment program.

(2) Serve as focal point for technical advice and coordination on the motor vehicle program outside the Bureau.

(3) Initiate or approve requests for the assignment or reassignment of motor vehicles outside the Bureau.

(4) Conduct cost studies and investigate excessive costs.

(5) Maintain an effective motor vehicle replacement and utilization program.

(6) Maintain motor vehicle and equipment fleet records to provide required agency reports.

(7) Safeguard against misuse of motor vehicles and equipment.

(8) Recommend policy and procedural changes to the Director, Acquisition and Property Management.

(9) Develop and implement policy covering the management and operation of the Survey's motor vehicles consistent with the provisions of the Departmental Motor Vehicle Handbook (412 DM) and any supplements issued thereto.

(10) Exercise management and technical supervision, and develop policy guidance, procedures, and technical instructions, as necessary to ensure effective and efficient administration over the operation, maintenance, and use of vehicles.

(11) Include motor vehicle management as a component of the established internal audit program.

(12) Establish a central registry of U.S. Government license tags issued for use on USGS motor vehicles in accordance with departmental requirements.

B. Division heads, through their administrative officers, shall:

(1) Establish local procedures for assignment and use of vehicles in conformity with the policies, procedures, and forms contained in the Departmental Motor Vehicle Handbook and the USGS Property Management Handbook.

(2) Ensure that operational procedures are flexible to meet changing requirements.

(3) Provide and ensure proper training of personnel involved with vehicle management and operation.

(4) Ensure the safety, security, proper care, and use of vehicles and equipment.

(5) Ensure that vehicles are operated in accordance with state and local traffic safety regulations, and applicable Federal Highway Administration regulations.

(6) Ensure that accurate utilization, maintenance, and operational performance data are collected and can be made available upon request.

(7) Provide for rotation of vehicles, where practical and economical, to equalize the equipment usage and to assure attainment of life cycle utilization goals within the vehicle life expectancy.

C. The Chief, Office of Financial Management, shall be responsible for processing and recording all financial transactions regarding the motor vehicle fleet.

D. Motor vehicle operators shall:

(1) Operate motor vehicles in a safe and prudent manner.

(2) Report motor vehicles that are in unsafe operating condition.

(3) Report accurately and timely daily use and maintenance; reports to be transmitted via the Motor Vehicle Management System no later than 10 calendar days after the end of the reporting month. Data must be submitted for every vehicle, regardless of rental status.

(4) Comply with applicable motor vehicle regulations of Federal, State, and local governments.

(5) Ensure that motor vehicles are maintained in accordance with the established preventive maintenance schedule, as outlined in the Property Management Handbook.

6. Procedures. All personnel involved in the operation and maintenance of USGS-owned vehicles shall follow the standards and procedures contained in the Property Management Handbook, Chapter 6.