320 FW 3
Motor Vehicle Use

Supersedes 320 FW 5, 6, 8, and 10;  10/31/2008

Date: Month XX, 2017

Series: Vehicle and Equipment Management

Part 320: Motor Vehicle Management

Originating Office: Division of Contracting and General Services

 

 

PDF Version

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

Overview

3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

3.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

3.3 What are the authorities and terms you need to know to understand this chapter?

Requirements to Operate Vehicles

3.4 What requirements must Service employees or volunteers meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle?

3.5 What requirements must contractors meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle?

3.6 What requirements must Service partners and State agencies meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle?

3.7 For what purposes may Service personnel operate a Government-owned motor vehicle?

General Rules for Operation and Penalties

3.8 What rules must vehicle operators follow in conjunction with operating Government-owned vehicles?

3.9 What are the parking and storage requirements for vehicle operators?

3.10 When may the Service take disciplinary action against a vehicle operator?

3.11 What penalties does the Service enforce if a vehicle operator commits any of the violations described in section 3.10?

Vehicle Utilization

3.12 What are the Service’s vehicle utilization requirements?

3.13 What are the criteria for justifying the retention of low-utilization vehicles?

Fuel and Maintenance

3.14 What requirements must vehicle operators follow when refueling and changing oil or any other lubricants?

3.15 What actions must Accountable Officers take to meet Service fuel consumption and vehicle usage requirements?

3.16 What preventative and corrective maintenance requirements must Accountable Officers enforce?

3.17 What responsibilities do Accountable Officers have in conjunction with manufacturers’ recalls on Government-owned vehicles?

3.18 Which facilities does the Service use for vehicle maintenance?

3.19 What types of inspections are vehicle operators and Accountable Officers required to perform or coordinate

Fleet Charge Card

3.20 What are the Service’s policies for fleet charge card usage?

3.21 What actions does the Service take to monitor and verify charge card statements?

3.22 What are the requirements for fleet charge card storage?

Accidents

3.23 What actions does a vehicle operator have to take after an accident?

3.24 What actions must a supervisor take after he/she is notified of a motor vehicle accident?

Privately Owned Vehicles

3.25 What is the Service’s policy for use of privately owned vehicles (POVs) on Government business?

Home-to-Work Transportation

3.26 What is the policy related to vehicle operators using a Government vehicle for home-to-work (HTW) transportation?

3.27 What are the circumstances in which Service personnel may apply for approval for HTW transportation?

3.28 What are the requirements for requesting HTW approval from the Secretary?

3.29 Are there limitations on the Secretary’s authorization for HTW transportation?

3.30 What are the requirements for reporting approved HTW use?

Additional Information

3.31 Where can employees find additional information about motor vehicle use?

 

 

OVERVIEW

3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the requirements that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel must follow as they relate to:

 

A. The use, operation, and storage of motor vehicles that the Service owns, leases, and rents;

 

B. Annual utilization standards and exemption requirements;

 

C. Service, maintenance, and inspection for Service-owned and leased motor vehicles;

 

D. Required actions following an accident involving a Service-owned, leased, or rented motor vehicle; and

 

E. Requirements for using a Service-owned or leased motor vehicle for home-to-work (HTW) transportation.

 

3.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter applies to all motor vehicles that the Service owns, leases, and rents. In this chapter, we refer to them all as “Government-owned” vehicles.

 

3.3 What are the authorities and terms you need to know to understand this chapter? See 320 FW 1 for a list of authorities and definitions of the terms used in all the chapters in Part 320.

 

Requirements to Operate Vehicles

 

3.4 What requirements must Service employees or volunteers meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle? Service employees and volunteers may only drive Government-owned motor vehicles if their Project Leader:

 

A. Verifies that they are at least 18 years old (21 for commercial driver’s licenses);

 

B. Verifies that they hold a valid driver’s license from a State, territory, or other government agency for the class of vehicle that they plan to operate;

 

C. Provides them with a written authorization through an approved FWS Form 3-2267, Authorization for Operation of Motor Vehicles and/or Equipment, which is kept on file until he/she or the person’s direct supervisor revokes the authorization; this form must be reviewed annually for full-time employees and signed annually for volunteers; and

 

D. Ensures that they comply with Service motor vehicle operator requirements in Parts 243, 320, and 321 of the Service Manual, including training. For volunteers, also ensures they comply with the policy in Part 150.

 

3.5 What requirements must contractors meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle? A contractor may only drive a Government-owned motor vehicle if the contractor’s manager:

 

A. Receives written authorization from the Project Leader through an approved FWS Form 3-2267;

 

B. Signs a contract or agreement clause to cover issues of liability and insurance (see the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 45.3, and specifically 45.304 for details);

 

C. Ensures that the contractor holds a valid driver’s license from a State, territory, or other government agency for the class of vehicle that he/she plans to operate;

 

D. Ensures that the contractor only uses the vehicle to perform the work authorized under the contractual arrangement and complies with Service motor vehicle operator requirements in Parts 243, 320, and 321 of the Service Manual; and

 

E. Establishes and enforces suitable penalties for failing to adhere to vehicle use standards.

 

3.6 What requirements must Service partners and State agencies meet to drive a Government-owned motor vehicle? A Service partner or State agency official may only drive a Government-owned motor vehicle if the partner/State agency:

 

A. Receives written authorization from the Project Leader through an approved FWS Form 3-2267 for the official to operate a vehicle;

 

B. Signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Service that includes language limiting the Service’s responsibility for any damage, injury, or tort claims;

 

C. Signs a contract or agreement clause to cover other issues of liability and insurance;

 

D. Ensures that the official holds a valid driver’s license from the State, territory, or other government agency for the class of vehicle that he/she plans to operate; and

 

E. Ensures the official complies with the Service motor vehicle operator requirements in Parts 243, 320, and 321 of the Service Manual.

 

3.7 For what purposes may Service personnel operate a Government-owned motor vehicle?

 

A. Service personnel may only operate a Government-owned motor vehicle for official purposes. Official use means using the vehicle to perform the Service’s mission, as authorized by the Service.

 

B. Service employees, volunteers, and contractors may be authorized to use Government-owned vehicles to:

 

(1) Carry out authorized programs, including program work under contractual arrangements;

 

(2) Assist in major disasters or emergency situations; and

 

(3) Perform assignments while on official temporary duty (TDY) travel as documented and approved on a travel authorization.

 

General Rules for Operation and Penalties

 

3.8 What rules must vehicle operators follow in conjunction with operating Government-owned vehicles?

 

A. The vehicle operator must:

 

(1) Only use the Government-owned vehicle for official purposes as described in section 3.7;

 

(2) Follow all applicable driving rules (local, State, and Federal);

 

(3) Carry a valid driver’s license;

 

(4) Carry a valid Service personnel identification card or Volunteer Service Agreement form (see Part 150 of the Service Manual);

 

(5) Have an approved FWS Form 3-2267 on file;

 

(6) Wear the safety belt or other restraint system provided and ensure that all passengers also wear their safety belts or other restraints;

 

(7) Lock the motor vehicle when unattended;

 

(8) Take precautions to protect Government personal property stored in the vehicle and if possible, remove property from the vehicle when it is parked overnight; and

 

(9) Ensure safety and emergency equipment is in the vehicle and in working condition.

 

B. The vehicle operator must not:

 

(1) Operate under the influence of alcohol or any substance that affects one’s ability to drive;

 

(2) Use tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, while in the vehicle (also see 242 FW 13);

 

(3) Use cellular telephones or other electronic devices while operating the vehicle. The operator must park the vehicle to use the device. This applies to operators driving Government vehicles, when driving privately-owned vehicles while on official Service business, and when using Service-supplied electronic equipment while driving;

 

(4) Willfully abuse or misuse a vehicle;

 

(5) Allow passengers in the vehicle unless they are there for official Government duties; or

 

(6) Drive a vehicle in a willfully negligent or careless manner.

 

3.9 What are the parking and storage requirements for vehicle operators? A vehicle operator must:

 

A. Follow all Federal, State, and local parking laws and regulations;

 

B. Park or store the vehicle in an area that offers reasonable protection from theft or damage; and

 

C. Bear personal responsibility for paying all fines for parking citations and violations.

 

3.10 When may the Service take disciplinary action against a vehicle operator? The Service may revoke a vehicle operator’s permission to drive a Government-owned vehicle or take other disciplinary action, or both, if the operator’s State license is revoked or if the operator:

 

A. Willfully misuses a Government-owned vehicle or authorizes the unofficial use of a Government-owned vehicle;

 

B. Operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol;

 

C. Leaves the scene of an accident prematurely;

 

D. Drives recklessly, speeds, or commits another traffic violation;

 

E. Causes an accident; or

 

F. Neglects or abuses a Government-owned vehicle.

 

3.11 What penalties does the Service enforce if a vehicle operator commits any of the violations described in section 3.10?

 

A. The Service may remove or suspend a vehicle operator or supervisor from duty without pay if he/she willfully misuses or authorizes someone else to misuse a Service vehicle.

 

B. The operator’s supervisor must work with their servicing Human Resources Office (HRO) to determine if disciplinary action is appropriate in accordance with 370 DM 752. If the supervisor and the HRO determine an employee willingly misused or authorized someone else to misuse a Government-owned vehicle, they must seek the approval of the Service Director to suspend the employee from duty immediately for a minimum period of at least 30 days in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1349(b).

 

Vehicle Utilization

 

3.12 What are the Service’s vehicle utilization requirements? The Service vehicle utilization standards provide annual utilization goals and acceptable minimum utilization requirements for each vehicle class. The Service establishes and maintains these utilization standards. The utilization standards are in Table 3-1.

 

Table 3-1: Service Utilization Standards

Vehicle Type

Standard Annual Utilization Goal (Miles)

Acceptable Minimum Annual Utilization

Passenger vehicle

12,000

6,800

Light-duty truck

10,000

5,600

Medium-duty truck

7,500

4,500

Heavy-duty truck

7,500

2,000

Buses

12,000

1,200

 

3.13 What are the criteria for justifying the retention of low-utilization vehicles?

 

A. Due to the Service’s unique mission requirements and operating environment, some vehicles essential to the mission may not meet the utilization standards in Table 3-1. Annually, Regional Fleet Managers must conduct written assessments for those vehicles where the previous yearly utilization fell below the acceptable minimum annual utilization. These assessments further assist the National Fleet Manager in making critical fleet management decisions concerning vehicle justification and utilization.

 

B. The Service requires justification for each low-utilization vehicle that is retained.

 

C. The National Fleet Manager manages and approves justification for retention requests if:

 

(1) There is a justified mission need that cannot practically be met with another motor vehicle at that location; and

 

(2) The request is allowed under the following justification for retention criteria the Service has established:

         

(a)   The mission requirement for which the vehicle was originally acquired still applies,

 

(b)   The existing fleet at the station will be unable to meet mission needs if the station loses the underutilized vehicle, and

 

(c)   “Other means of utilization” (e.g., vehicle trips taken/days used per month) may justify maintaining the underutilized vehicle in the inventory.

 

Fuel and Maintenance

 

3.14 What requirements must vehicle operators follow when refueling and changing oil or any other lubricants? A vehicle operator must:

 

A. Refuel the vehicle with:

 

(1) Alternative fuels whenever possible in accordance with the Energy Policy Act;

 

(2) The lowest recommended fuel grade listed in the owner’s manual when no alternative fuels are available or practical; and

 

(3) Regular unleaded gasoline in all motor vehicles designed to operate on regular unleaded unless:

 

(a) Such use would conflict with country-to-country or multi-national logistics    agreements, or

 

            (b) Regular unleaded gasoline is not available locally.

 

B. Not use dyed fuels in vehicles.

 

C. Use the vehicle’s assigned fleet charge card to pay for fuel, oil changes, and any other lubricant changes (for more details about proper use of fleet charge cards, see section 3.20).

 

D. Contact the Regional Fleet Manager if he/she misplaces the vehicle’s assigned fleet charge card so that he/she can follow the proper procedures from the General Services Administration (GSA) for fuel reimbursement.

 

3.15 What actions must Accountable Officers take to meet Service fuel consumption and vehicle usage requirements? Accountable Officers must take the following actions for their assigned vehicle assets:

 

A. Reconcile Government-owned fuel consumption each month and report monthly fuel costs by entering them in the applicable fleet management systems, and

 

B. Coordinate with the Regional Fleet Manager to enter the required vehicle performance information into fleet management systems. This helps with the completion of required reports like the Federal Automotive Statistical Tool (FAST) record for all motor vehicles.

 

3.16 What preventative and corrective maintenance requirements must Accountable Officers enforce? Accountable Officers must ensure that:

 

A. The duty station staff perform maintenance at least as frequently as the manufacturer recommends, and more often if the vehicle operates (see section 3.18B for maintenance on GSA-leased vehicles):

 

(1) In environments that are abnormally:

 

            (a) Hot,

 

            (b) Dusty,

 

            (c) Wet,

 

            (d) Corrosive, or

 

            (e) Muddy; or

 

(2) Off-road, on unimproved roads, or in mountainous terrain.

 

B. Tires are rotated and replaced according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specified load rating and classification and follow the State guidance for bus tires and other specialized cargo vehicles;

 

C. All repairs and corrections covered under vehicle warranties are performed under the warranty, and all warranty work takes place at manufacturers’ facilities or at authorized dealers, if feasible; and

 

D. All maintenance work orders are retained on file in the applicable fleet management systems.

 

3.17 What responsibilities do Accountable Officers have in conjunction with manufacturers’ recalls on Government-owned vehicles? Accountable Officers must coordinate with manufacturers to address recalls for Government-owned vehicles after receiving recall information from their Regional Fleet Manager. Regional Fleet Managers receive recall communications from vehicle manufacturers and notify the appropriate Accountable Officer(s) of the recall.

 

3.18 Which facilities does the Service use for vehicle maintenance? Vehicle operators should use:

 

A. Service-owned maintenance facilities whenever available (for Service-owned vehicles);

 

B. GSA maintenance contract facilities for GSA-leased or rented vehicles and for Service-owned vehicles when Service-owned maintenance facilities are not available;

 

C. Maintenance facilities that other agencies operate through cross-servicing agreements when neither Service-owned nor GSA maintenance facilities are available; or

 

D. Commercial maintenance facilities when options A through C are not available in the vehicle’s location. Operators may also use commercial facilities when a vehicle is under warranty or a Government facility is unavailable.

 

3.19 What types of inspections are vehicle operators and Accountable Officers required to perform or coordinate?  

 

A. Daily safety inspections: Vehicle operators must inspect motor vehicles daily before driving and report any deficiencies they identify for corrective action to their supervisors. All personnel are responsible for the safe operation of vehicles and for immediately marking the vehicle with “Do Not Use-Unsafe” when they identify an unsafe condition.

 

B. State-required safety inspections: Vehicle operators and Accountable Officers are both responsible for ensuring that qualified, competent mechanics inspect each motor vehicle for safety in compliance with State and local requirements and display the required sticker as necessary. Vehicle operators/Accountable Officers should document any deficiencies noted and maintain the documentation onsite. See Part 322 of the Service Manual for additional information on operating heavy equipment.

 

C. Emissions inspections: Vehicle operators/Accountable Officers must complete emissions inspections in accordance with applicable State laws.  

 

Fleet Charge Card

 

3.20 What are the Service’s policies for fleet charge card usage? Vehicle operators are responsible for any charges and the consequences of fraudulent or non-approved card charges that they incur. Fleet cards must only be used:

 

A. In conjunction with the vehicle to which the card is assigned;

 

B. For purchases under the FAR’s micro-purchase threshold limits; and

 

C. For the following charges:

 

(1) Fuel costs for unleaded, non-premium fuel or fuel alternatives,

 

(2) Emergency towing,

 

(3) Scheduled preventative maintenance (e.g., oil changes), and

 

(4) Repairs that the Accountable Officer has approved.

 

3.21 What actions does the Service take to monitor and verify charge card statements? Vehicle operators and Accountable Officers must ensure the validity of charge card statements by taking the following actions.

 

A. The Accountable Officer maintains all supporting documentation from charge card transactions in the vehicle’s file for at least 3 years, including:

 

(1) Receipts,

 

(2) Invoices,

 

(3) Packing slips,

 

(4) Acquisition requests, and

 

(5) Travel vouchers.

 

B. The vehicle operator and Accountable Officer review charge card statements and sign them within 25 days of the statement date.

 

3.22 What are the requirements for fleet charge card storage? Vehicle operators must remove the card from the vehicle when the vehicle is left unattended and keep the card in a secure location (e.g., locked drawer) at all times.

 

Accidents

 

3.23 What actions does a vehicle operator have to take after an accident? Whenever a Government-owned vehicle is in an accident, the vehicle operator must:

 

A. Immediately report the accident to:

 

(1) Emergency response personnel if there are any injuries;

 

(2) His/her supervisor; and

 

(3) Local law enforcement in any of the following situations:

 

            (a) More than one party is involved in the accident;

 

            (b) At least one person, including the vehicle operator, sustained an injury; or

 

(c) A non-Government asset (e.g., building, road sign) is damaged or in some other way affected by the accident;

 

B. Take photographs of the damage to vehicles involved in the accident, if possible;

 

C. Obtain contact information of any witnesses and exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident;

 

D. Drive or arrange for a tow truck (if the vehicle is inoperable) to transport the vehicle to a service location that his/her supervisor or GSA has approved;

 

E. Complete the forms listed in 240 FW 7 and submit them to his/her immediate supervisor; and

 

F. Refer to 240 FW 7 for further guidance on workers’ compensation claims, accident investigations, and reporting requirements.

 

3.24 What actions must a supervisor take after he/she is notified of a motor vehicle accident? The supervisor must take the following actions in coordination with his/her Project Leader:

 

A. Determine whether the accident is considered a serious or non-serious accident as we define in 240 FW 7. Complete SF-91, Motor Vehicle Accident Report, for all accidents and submit the form to the Regional Fleet Manager.

 

(1) Serious accidents: If the accident meets the criteria of being serious, the Project Leader or the supervisor must:

 

            (a) Contact the Regional Safety office as soon as possible; and

 

(b) Submit the required forms (see 240 FW 7) to the Regional Fleet Manager and the Regional Safety office within 5 days of the accident.

 

(2) Non-serious accidents: If the accident is not “serious,” the Project Leader or supervisor must report accident details as follows:

 

(a) Enter information about the accident into the Department’s Safety Management Information System (SMIS) within 6 days of the accident, and

 

            (b) Report it to the GSA Fleet Management Center for GSA-leased or rented vehicles.

 

B. Coordinate with the Regional Solicitor to address any questions regarding injuries to anyone other than the operator, as required.

 

C. Contact the servicing HRO for assistance with any adverse or disciplinary action that it may be necessary to take against the vehicle operator.

 

PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES

 

3.25 What is the Service’s policy for use of privately owned vehicles (POVs) on Government business? A Service employee may use a POV at his/her own risk if he/she obtains written approval from his/her supervisor to do so. The Service reimburses personnel for using their POVs based on the current per-mile cost, which is on GSA’s Web site. For more information, see 265 FW 5.

 

HOME-TO-WORK TRANSPORATION

 

3.26 What is the policy related to vehicle operators using a Government-owned vehicle for home-to-work (HTW) transportation? Service employees may not use their assigned Government vehicles for travel from their homes to their places of work or vice versa, with these two exceptions:

 

A. The vehicle operator applies and receives approval for HTW transportation from the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) (see sections 3.27 and 3.28); or

 

B. The vehicle operator has a TDY assignment away from a designated or regular place of employment, and he/she has received an approved travel authorization (DI-1020) form that includes the use of a Government-owned vehicle.

 

3.27 What are the circumstances in which Service personnel may apply for approval for HTW transportation? There are three circumstances where vehicle operators may request HTW transportation approval from the Secretary (also see 412 DM 1):

 

A. The operator’s field work requires his/her presence at a location other than his/her regular duty station and both of the following apply:

 

(1) The operator’s work day does not begin at his/her regular duty station, and

 

(2) The operator’s normal commute does not include trips to a field location;

 

B. Official business requires or would substantially benefit from HTW transportation; or

 

C. The operator is an Office of Law Enforcement agent.

 

3.28 What are the requirements for requesting HTW approval from the Secretary?

 

A. Service personnel must coordinate with their Project Leader to compose a request memorandum to seek authorization for HTW approval. More information on the request process can be found in the Department’s Motor Vehicle Fleet Management Handbook.

 

B. Each request memorandum must include the following:

 

(1) Employee’s name and title;

 

(2) Duties of the employee’s position;

 

(3) Requesting office;

 

(4) Employee’s home address;

 

(5) Employee’s permanent duty station address;

 

(6) Addresses of field work locations;

 

(7) Addresses of Government facilities near field work locations;

 

(8) Type of vehicle; and

 

(9) Justification for HTW transportation, which must include:

 

(a) Facts and circumstances that clearly demonstrate how the use of a Government-owned vehicle will substantially increase the Service’s efficiency and economy, or how it is essential to the conduct of official business,

 

(b) Cost comparisons (i.e., cost of using a Government vehicle vs. cost of not using a Government vehicle),

 

(c) Times and dates requested,

 

(d) Distances requested,

 

(e) Locations requested,

 

(f) Beneficial effects of HTW travel on work performance,

 

(g) Expected results of HTW travel, and

 

(h) Anticipated duration of HTW transportation use.

 

3.29 Are there limitations on the Secretary’s authorization for HTW transportation? Yes. Employees who have approval for HTW transportation must only use it on days when they are performing official duties and the mission absolutely requires HTW transportation in accordance with Departmental policy (see 412 DM 1).

 

3.30 What are the requirements for reporting approved HTW use? When a Service employee receives HTW transportation approval from the Secretary, he/she must adhere to the following reporting requirements:

 

A. The employee (with the exception of emergency and law enforcement personnel) must record each trip on an HTW transportation log and give the log to his/her supervisor on a monthly basis.

 

B. The supervisor must keep a copy of the HTW transportation log and give a copy to the Regional Fleet Manager monthly.

 

C. The Regional Fleet Manager must keep a copy of the HTW transportation log and report authorized trips within 60 calendar days to the National Fleet Manager. The National Fleet Manager reports these trips to the Department.

 

D. The Regional Fleet Manager must report any HTW use that had not been previously authorized by the Secretary (e.g., as the result of a situation that presents a clear and present danger) to the National Fleet Manager, who must send the information to the Department’s Office of Acquisition and Property Management within 15 working days of it taking place.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

3.31 Where can employees find additional information about motor vehicle use? Employees may contact their Regional Fleet Manager or Regional Fleet Coordinator with additional questions about motor vehicle use.

 

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Division of Contracting and General Services. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs.

 

 

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