Budget Cuts Trouble for Govt. Fleet Purchasing

Aug 03, 2010

budget cutNew federal vehicle purchases likely will stay the same or decline in coming years as agencies struggle with declining budgets and new requirements to green their fleets, according to Federal Times.

When stimulus-related purchases are excluded, agencies actually purchased fewer cars in 2009 than in the previous year.

Bill Toth, director of GSA's Office of Motor Vehicle Management, expects that trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

Agencies are under increasing pressure to cut fuel consumption and now face a new mandate to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their vehicles. Most also are struggling with flat budgets.

"With tightening budgets and efforts to streamline transportation...you're going to see fewer cars purchased and fewer cars in the federal fleet overall," he said.

Toth said he expects agencies will continue to purchase more hybrids in coming years, although not at the inflated levels seen during the past two years.

Even though hybrids use less gasoline than traditional vehicles, making that upfront investment is difficult for agencies to justify because the money used to purchase vehicles often comes from a different account than the money used to purchase fuel for those vehicles, said Joseph Sikes, director of facilities energy in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations and Environment.

"It's easy to make the calculation, but it's harder to fit it into your budget," Sikes said.

[via Government Fleet]

Photo courtesy of neologism and re-used under the Creative Commons license.