320 FW 3
Motor Vehicle Acquisition

Supersedes 320 FW 3,

FWM 073, 03/11/93

Date:  October 31, 2008

Series: Vehicle and Equipment Management

Part 320: Motor Vehicle Management

Originating Office: Division of Contracting and Facilities Management



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3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes our policies and procedures for buying or leasing motor vehicles and using short-term rentals for non-Temporary Duty (TDY) assignments. 


3.2 What are the authorities for this chapter? See 320 FW 1.3 for a list of authorities for all the chapters in Part 320. 


3.3 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter? See 320 FW 1.5 if you need a definition for a term used in this chapter.


3.4 Who is responsible for the acquisition of motor vehicles? We describe our general responsibilities for motor vehicle management in 320 FW 1.6. Following are our responsibilities for motor vehicle acquisition.


A. The Assistant Directors and Regional Directors oversee the Regional Property Managers to ensure that vehicles located within their Programs and Regions are fully utilized and justified before acquiring additional or replacement vehicles (see 320 FW 2 for more information on acquisition planning and utilization).


B. The Chief, Division of Contracting and Facility Management (CFM):


(1) Establishes cooperative agreements with other Department of the Interior bureaus and Federal agencies when we share vehicles and maintenance costs.


(2) Establishes performance measures to evaluate vehicle operating and maintenance costs and determine life-cycle cost and replacement guidelines for vehicle types. Life-cycle costs are all the anticipated costs associated with a vehicle throughout its life, including purchase, operating, maintenance, and repair costs.


(3) Ensures that motor vehicle acquisitions are in compliance with applicable Executive Orders (E.O.), laws, Service policy, and Departmental fleet policy, including requirements for:


(a) Adequate justifications for acquiring vehicles,


(b) Use of alternative fuels,


(c) Reductions in petroleum fuel use,


(d) Alternative fuel purchases, and


(e) Vehicle minimum specifications and costs.


C. Regional Property Managers:


(1) Establish and maintain administrative procedures and controls to ensure that vehicle acquisitions are consistent with Federal regulation and Departmental and Service policy.  


(2) Establish administrative procedures for acquiring GSA Interagency Fleet Management System vehicles.


(3) Review all underutilized motor vehicles and either dispose of, reallocate, or obtain justifications to retain vehicles from the Accountable Officer. 


(4) Obtain a signed justification form for each vehicle purchase request. 


D. Accountable Officers:


(1) Verify the need for each vehicle requirement as essential to the performance of the Program mission (see 320 FW 2).


(2) Maintain an information system to identify projected vehicle requirements.


(3) Approve/deny vehicle requests within their area of responsibility.


(4) Before acquiring new or replacement motor vehicles, consider:


(a) The types and numbers of vehicles with the minimum capacity/performance needed, and 


(b) The intended vehicle uses, including cargo capacity, number of passengers to transport, and frequency and types of trips.


E.  Project Leaders justify the need for each vehicle requirement as essential to the performance of the Region’s mission (see 320 FW 2).


F.  Programs and Field Stations coordinate leasing agreements with GSA and their respective Regional Property Manager and Fleet Coordinator. Leased vehicles are still subject to a justification form, which they send to the Regional Property Manager.


3.5 How does the Region determine where to obtain motor vehicles? When obtaining a vehicle, the Accountable Officer must select the option below that best meets the mission requirements at the lowest cost: 


A. Underutilized on-hand Service vehicles (see 320 FW 2, Exhibit 1 for utilization standards), or excess vehicles from other bureaus and Federal agencies that meet the requirements in section 3.7.


B. Lease or buy GSA Interagency Fleet Management System vehicles.


C. Lease or buy a vehicle from a private vendor.


D. Short-term rental.


3.6 How does the Service acquire underutilized on-hand vehicles?


A. If the Regional Property Manager identifies an underutilized vehicle in his/her Region that may fit a need elsewhere in the Region, he/she must consider the cost to relocate it. The cost to relocate it cannot be greater than acquiring the vehicle.


B. The cost analysis examines:


(1) The residual value of the vehicle on hand,


(2) The cost associated with transporting and reassigning the vehicle, and


(3) The cost of required repairs or modifications. 


3.7 How does the Service acquire excess vehicles? The Accountable Officer should confer with Regional Property Manager to consider excess vehicles from other bureaus and other Federal agencies before considering leasing or buying a vehicle.


A. The Regional Property Manager locates excess vehicles using GSAXcess or by an informal process (e.g., email and phone) to contact property managers in other bureaus and agencies in the same geographic area. Before making a commitment on an excess vehicle, the Regional Property Manager must arrange for a condition assessment (see section 3.7B).


B. If the cost of acquiring a vehicle from another bureau or Federal agency exceeds the one-time repair allowance, age or mileage replacement standards (see 320 FW 2, Exhibits 2 and 3 and 320 FW 7), the Regional Property Manger must get approval from the Chief, CFM before acquiring the vehicle.


3.8 How does the Service lease vehicles through the GSA Interagency Fleet Management System? Accountable Officers may consider leasing a vehicle from the GSA Interagency Fleet Management System. (See section 3.9 for information about leasing a vehicle for seasonal use and sections 3.10 and 3.11 for information about buying a vehicle through GSA.)


A. The Regional Property Manager notifies the Accountable Officer with the need for the vehicle that there are no underutilized vehicles or excess vehicles available.


B. The Accountable Officer making the request sends a written request and justification form to the Regional Contracting and General Services office (or CFM for Headquarters (HQ)) for a GSA Interagency Fleet Management System vehicle. The justification must include the:


(1) Estimated length of time we will need the vehicle, and


(2) Estimated miles of use per month.


C. The justification must demonstrate that leasing from GSA is more economical than buying a vehicle, and that we will use the vehicle enough to meet the minimum utilization standards (see 320 FW 2, Exhibit 1).  Also refer to 320 FW 2, Exhibit 4 for cost analysis information.


D. Accountable Officers approve or decline new authorizations to lease GSA vehicles.


E. Once approved, the Regional Property Manager (or CFM in HQ) sends the request to GSA. (Termination of vehicle assignments follows the same procedures.)


3.9 How does the Service lease vehicles from the GSA Interagency Fleet Management System for seasonal use? The requirements for leasing a vehicle from GSA for seasonal or a special limited use are the same as described in section 3.8, except the request must also include the following information:


A. Special equipment or configuration requirements, and


B. The months during which we will use each vehicle.


3.10 What does the Accountable Officerr have to consider when he/she needs additional equipment or special systems for the vehicles we are buying? When the Accountable Officer selects other systems or equipment for vehicles we are buying, he/she should address efficiency, economy, security, and suitability of the vehicle for the purpose intended. The Accountable Officer:


A. May approve additional systems or equipment only if he/she determines it is essential for the effective operation of the vehicle and provide this information on the vehicle justification form.


B. Must ensure lock boxes or other security devices are installed in all law enforcement vehicles to protect Service firearms.


3.11 How does the Service buy vehicles from GSA Interagency Fleet Management System?


A. We must use GSA’s Interagency Fleet Management System to buy motor vehicles unless the Regional Property Manager obtains a waiver from GSA, or he/she determines and documents that buying vehicles through another means is essential to the mission or in the best interest of the Government (see section 3.13).


B. The Accountable Officer who needs the vehicle must send a purchase request with a narrative justification and cost analysis to the next level of authority for approval. When approved, the request package is sent to the Regional Property Manager. We use GSA’s online ordering system, AutoChoice, to process the order. AutoChoice allows the Regional Property Manager to:


(1) Select vehicles and choose options,


(2) Compare vehicles,


(3) Calculate vehicle prices, including GSA’s 1% surcharge, and


(4) Order vehicles and check status.


3.12 How does the Service lease vehicles from private vendors?


A. The Accountable Officer must obtain approval from the Regional Property Manager before leasing a vehicle from a commercial source. The request for approval must include the information in section 3.8B and a written determination from GSA that Interagency Fleet Management System vehicles are not available.


B. We must comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to lease from a private vendor. GSA Advantage (Federal Supply Schedule) has a centralized indefinite quantity-leasing program that covers sedans, station wagons, and certain types of light trucks (pickups and vans). The Regional Property Manager uses the Federal Supply Schedule 751, Part II, which has information about the types of vehicles available, costs, terms, and conditions.


C. If the Regional Property Manager does not plan to use GSA’s centralized leasing program, he/she must get approval from the Chief, CFM and the Department’s Office of Acquisition and Property Management to do so. The Regional Property Manager may request an exception to using GSA’s centralized leasing program in the following circumstances:


(1) The contractor(s) under the GSA centralized leasing program is unable to provide the required vehicles.


(2) Using the centralized lease program is not cost effective or in the best interest of the Government. For example, if we would need to extensively modify a vehicle from GSA’s leasing program to meet our needs, then it is not cost effective to use that program.


3.13 How does the Service buy vehicles from private vendors? The Regional Property Manager seeks a waiver for procurement through sources other than GSA on a case-by-case basis. 


A. The Accountable Officer who needs the vehicle must write a justification that includes the following information:


(1) A statement of the purpose(s) for the vehicle.


(2) A statement, including the supporting rationale, that explains that similar vehicles are not available from elsewhere in the Region or excess sources, or if available, cannot be used to meet essential mission requirements.


(3) The nature of the operating environment, mission, urgent circumstances, or vehicle requirements that make it necessary to buy from a source other than GSA.


(4) A description of the efforts made to obtain the vehicle from the GSA Interagency Fleet Management System. 


(5) The availability of similar vehicles on a lease basis and the monthly cost of leasing the vehicle.


(6) The date the vehicle must be available for use.


(7) Unfavorable consequences to our mission and the cost impact if the waiver is denied.


B. The Regional Property Manager sends the request to CFM. CFM and the Department’s Office of Acquisition and Property Management evaluate all waiver requests and approve or decline to approve them. If approved, the Department sends the request to GSA.


C. If GSA determines that a local purchase is justified, GSA returns the order to the Department with written authority and a GSA waiver number. The Department sends the authorization to CFM. CFM sends it to the Regional Property Manager.


D. A Contracting Officer buys the vehicle using our requirements for procurement (see 301 FW 5).


E. The Contracting Officer makes copies of the solicitation, bids received, the awarded contract, and evidence of delivery and sends the information to GSA.


F. A GSA waiver to buy a vehicle locally is not an authorization for sole source procurement.


3.14  What is the process for modification or installation of additional systems and equipment on GSA Fleet Management Center vehicles?


A.  The Accountable Officer must approve the procurement and installation of additional systems and equipment on all Service motor vehicles that are already in service based on: 


(1) The need for the modification/installation to carry out the Service’s mission,


(2) The vehicle’s mileage (Service motor vehicles must have at least 2 years expected remaining serviceable life and less than 40,000 miles before procuring additional systems and equipment),


(3) The residual value of the vehicle, and


(4) The effect that the additional systems and equipment will have on the resale value of the vehicle.


B.  GSA must also approve such modifications. 



For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Contracting and Facilities Management. For additional information about this Web site, contact Krista_Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  

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