Total savings could top $8 million
SPRINGFIELD, ILL – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced in a press conference today at the Department of Central Management Services Surplus Property Warehouse that the state will soon sell 1,000 surplus vehicles, saving $3.6 million this year and adding $1 million in new revenue from the sales. The action is a result of Executive Order 2, which the Governor signed on January 14, 2003.
“The idea behind Executive Order Number Two is no different than the idea behind our budget and the philosophy driving this administration – cut out the fat, cut out the waste, and put the taxpayers dollars where it really matters – education, healthcare, and public safety,” Blagojevich said.
Executive Order 2 called on all agencies to conduct a thorough review of the cars used by their employees, and issued an immediate freeze on the purchase of new vehicles. The order did not affect vehicles that are required for public safety and defense, public health and the safety of Illinois roads.
Since the order’s implementation, 1,000 vehicles – or 13 % of the non-emergency fleet – have been identified for reduction, which will result in $3.6 million in savings. The excess vehicles will be sold at public auction and are expected to generate an additional $1 million in surplus revenue for the state of Illinois. The purchasing freeze stopped the production of 124 vehicles and resulted in an additional savings of $2 million.
“Even with the elimination of 1,000 vehicles from the state’s fleet, there are still 12,635 vehicles left. That’s nearly one vehicle for every five state employees. We just don’t need that many cars. It’s a waste of the taxpayers’ money,” the Governor said.
The governor will continue eliminating waste by reducing the fleet by another 500-700 vehicles by the end of the fiscal year, which could result in another $2.5 million in savings, bringing the total savings from fleet reductions to more than $6 million this fiscal year. On top of the savings, the state could realize another $1 million from auctioning additional vehicles, bringing the total in auction revenue to $2 million.
“I don’t know a single person in this state who believes that the state’s fleet should be as large as possible. But just about every person in this state would agree that we need more money for schools and hospitals and law enforcement,” said Blagojevich. “Governing is all about making choices. So when we get rid of unnecessary vehicles, we free up a total of $8 million that can be used for schools or healthcare or public safety.”
“But reforming the state’s vehicle policy isn’t just about reducing waste and investing money in the things that really matter. It’s also about making sure that state employees use the people’s property with respect,” Blagojevich continued.
The Governor ordered that U-Plates, state license plates that clearly identify state vehicles, be installed on every vehicle in the state fleet. Employees will be discouraged from trying to use state vehicles for personal use knowing the vehicle is marked as government-owned. In the past, installing U-Plates was up to the discretion of each agency and each director.
The Governor also consolidated all vehicle-purchasing authority into the Department of Central Management Services. CMS will control future purchases, evaluate the need for new vehicles, and monitor the appropriate use of the State fleet.
“CMS will continue to work with all state agencies to assess their vehicle needs while eliminating wasteful spending,” said CMS Director Michael Rumman.
Anyone interested in bidding on the surplus vehicles should contact the CMS Surplus Property Warehouse at (217) 782 – 7786. The next regularly scheduled auction will be held at the CMS Warehouse located at 1924 South 10 ½ Street, Springfield, IL or visit the CMS website at www.state.il.us/cms for further information.