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(CONCORD) The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy this morning announced the launch of “Fleet Week”, a week-long investigation of personal use of state-owned vehicles by state employees. Using a recently released report from the Department of Administrative Services and its own independent investigation into the data, the Josiah Bartlett Center is publishing a series of stories on its investigative journalism website, NewHampshireWatchdog.org.
Among the investigation’s findings:
- New Hampshire state employees drove state-owned vehicles more than 1.5 million miles in Fiscal Year 2011, more than enough to drive around the Earth six times or to make three round-trips to the Moon.
- 233 state-owned vehicles, or 12% of the state’s fleet, has more than 15% of their miles used for non-business use.
- 61 state vehicles racked up more non-business miles than official miles last year, and 135 logged more than 5,000 non-business miles.
- Several New Hampshire Commissioners used their state-owned vehicle for extensive non-business use.
- 14 vehicles exceeding 15% non-business use were redistributed within the state fleet, while 218 were retained.
- Allowing state employees to use state vehicles rather than reimbursing them for their official travel cost taxpayers more than $1,000 each for more than 50 vehicles.
“There are certainly some times when it’s more cost-effective to let a state employee take a state car home than to reimburse him by the mile,” said Grant Bosse, Lead Investigative Reporter for the Josiah Bartlett Center. “This data shows that the state spent nearly a half-million dollars last year on the practice, and many workers are allowed to keep their state cars when it would be cheaper to reimburse them.”
The complete “Fleet Week” series will be published from Monday through Friday at NewHampshireWatchdog.org.