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18.115 Vehicle dispatcher---employees---powers and duties---fuel economy requirements.

The director of the department of general services shall appoint a state vehicle dispatcher and other employees as necessary to administer this division. The state vehicle dispatcher shall serve at the pleasure of the director and is not governed by the merit system provisions of chapter 19A. Subject to the approval of the director, the state vehicle dispatcher has the following duties:

1. The dispatcher shall assign to a state officer or employee or to a state office, department, bureau, or commission, one or more motor vehicles which may be required by the officer or department, after the officer or department has shown the necessity for such transportation. The state vehicle dispatcher shall have the power to assign a motor vehicle either for part time or full time. The dispatcher shall have the right to revoke the assignment at any time.

2. The state vehicle dispatcher may cause all state-owned motor vehicles to be inspected periodically. Whenever the inspection reveals that repairs have been improperly made on the motor vehicle or that the operator is not giving it the proper care, the dispatcher shall report this fact to the head of the department to which the motor vehicle has been assigned, together with recommendation for improvement.

3. The state vehicle dispatcher shall install a record system for the keeping of records of the total number of miles state-owned motor vehicles are driven and the per-mile cost of operation of each motor vehicle. Every state officer or employee shall keep a record book to be furnished by the state vehicle dispatcher in which the officer or employee shall enter all purchases of gasoline, lubricating oil, grease, and other incidental expense in the operation of the motor vehicle assigned to the officer or employee, giving the quantity and price of each purchase, including the cost and nature of all repairs on the motor vehicle. Each operator of a state-owned motor vehicle shall promptly prepare a report at the end of each month on forms furnished by the state vehicle dispatcher and forward the same to the dispatcher at the statehouse, giving the information the state vehicle dispatcher may request in the report. The state vehicle dispatcher shall each month compile the costs and mileage of state-owned motor vehicles from the reports and keep a cost history card on each motor vehicle and the costs shall be reduced to a cost-per- mile basis for each motor vehicle. It shall be the duty of the state vehicle dispatcher to call to the attention of the head of any department to which a motor vehicle has been assigned any evidence of the mishandling or misuse of any state-owned motor vehicle which is called to the dispatcher's attention. A motor vehicle operated under this subsection shall not operate on gasoline other than gasoline blended with at least ten percent ethanol, unless under emergency circumstances. A state-issued credit card used to purchase gasoline shall not be valid to purchase gasoline other than gasoline blended with at least ten percent ethanol, if commercially available. The motor vehicle shall also be affixed with a brightly visible sticker which notifies the traveling public that the motor vehicle is being operated on gasoline blended with ethanol. However, the sticker is not required to be affixed to an unmarked vehicle used for purposes of providing law enforcement or security.

4. The state vehicle dispatcher shall purchase all motor vehicles for all branches of the state government, except the state department of transportation, institutions under the control of the state board of regents, the department for the blind, and any other agencies exempted by law. Before purchasing any new motor vehicle the dispatcher shall make requests for public bids by advertisement and shall purchase the vehicles from the lowest responsible bidder for the type and make of motor vehicle designated. The vehicle dispatcher may purchase used or preowned vehicles at governmental or dealer auctions if the purchase is determined to be in the best interests of the state.

In conjunction with the requirements of section 18.3, subsection 1, effective January 1, 1991, the state vehicle dispatcher, and any other state agency or local governmental political subdivision purchasing new motor vehicles for other than law enforcement purposes, shall purchase new passenger vehicles and light trucks such that the average fuel efficiency for the fleet of new passenger vehicles and light trucks purchased in that year by the state vehicle dispatcher or other state agency or local governmental political subdivision equals or exceeds the average fuel economy standard for the vehicles' model year as established by the United States secretary of transportation under 15 U.S.C. § 2002. This paragraph does not apply to vehicles purchased for any of the following: law enforcement purposes, school buses, off-road maintenance work, or work vehicles used to pull loaded trailers. The group of comparable vehicles within the total fleet purchased by the state vehicle dispatcher, or any other state agency or local governmental political subdivision purchasing motor vehicles for other than law enforcement purposes, shall have an average fuel efficiency rating equal to or exceeding the average fuel economy rating for that model year for that class of comparable vehicles as defined in 40 C.F.R. § 315-82. As used in this paragraph, "fuel economy" means the average number of miles traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline consumed as determined by the United States environmental protection agency administrator in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 4064(c). For purposes of this paragraph, "state agency" includes, but is not limited to, a community college or an institution under the control of the state board of regents.

The state vehicle dispatcher shall annually report the average combined fuel economy for all new motor vehicles purchased by classification (passenger automobiles, enforcement automobiles, vans, and light trucks) no later than January 31 of each year to the department of management and the energy and geological resources division of the department of natural resources. As used in this paragraph, "combined fuel economy" means the combined fuel economy as defined in 40 C.F.R. § 600.002.

a. Effective January 1, 1993, the state vehicle dispatcher, after consultation with the department of management and the various state agencies exempted from obtaining vehicles for use through the state vehicle dispatcher, shall adopt by rule pursuant to chapter 17A, a system of uniform standards for assigning vehicles available for use to maximize the average passenger miles per gallon of motor vehicle fuel consumed. The standards should consider the number of passengers traveling to a destination, the fuel economy of and passenger capacity of vehicles available for assignment, and any other relevant information, to assure assignment of the most energy efficient vehicle or combination of vehicles for a trip from those vehicles available for assignment. The standards adopted by the state vehicle dispatcher shall not apply to special work vehicles, and law enforcement vehicles. The rules when adopted shall apply to the following agencies:

(1) State vehicle dispatcher.

(2) State department of transportation.

(3) Institutions under the control of the state board of regents.

(4) The department for the blind.

(5) Any other state agency exempted from obtaining vehicles for use through the state vehicle dispatcher.

b. As used in paragraph "a", "fuel economy" means the average number of miles traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline consumed as determined by the United States environmental protection agency administrator in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 4064(c).

5. Of all new passenger vehicles and light pickup trucks purchased by the state vehicle dispatcher, a minimum of ten percent of all such vehicles and trucks purchased shall be equipped with engines which utilize alternative methods of propulsion including but not limited to any of the following:

a. A flexible fuel, which is any of the following:

(1) A fuel blended with not more than fifteen percent gasoline and at least eighty-five percent ethanol.

(2) A fuel which is a mixture of diesel fuel and processed soybean oil. At least twenty percent of the mixed fuel by volume must be processed soybean oil.

(3) A renewable fuel approved by the office of renewable fuels and coproducts pursuant to section 159A.2.

b. Compressed or liquefied natural gas.

c. Propane gas.

d. Solar energy.

e. Electricity.

The provisions of this subsection do not apply to vehicles and trucks purchased and directly used for law enforcement or off-road maintenance work.

It is the intent of the general assembly that the members of the midwest energy compact promote the development and purchase of motor vehicles equipped with engines which utilize alternative methods of propulsion.

6. All used motor vehicles turned in to the state vehicle dispatcher shall be disposed of by public auction, and the sales shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation one week in advance of sale, and the receipts from the sale shall be deposited in the depreciation fund to the credit of that department or agency turning in the vehicle; except that, in the case of a used motor vehicle of special design, the state vehicle dispatcher may, with the approval of the director, instead of selling it at public auction, authorize the motor vehicle to be traded for another vehicle of similar design. If a vehicle sustains damage and the cost to repair exceeds the wholesale value of the vehicle, the state vehicle dispatcher may dispose of the vehicle by obtaining two or more written salvage bids and the vehicle shall be sold to the highest responsible bidder.

7. The state vehicle dispatcher may authorize the establishment of motor pools consisting of a number of state-owned motor vehicles under the dispatcher's supervision and which the dispatcher may cause to be stored in a public or private garage. If a pool is established by the state vehicle dispatcher, any state officer or employee desiring the use of a state-owned motor vehicle on state business shall notify the state vehicle dispatcher of the need for a vehicle within a reasonable time prior to actual use of the motor vehicle. The state vehicle dispatcher may assign a motor vehicle from the motor pool to the state officer or employee. If two or more state officers or employees desire the use of a state-owned motor vehicle for a trip to the same destination for the same length of time, the state vehicle dispatcher may assign one vehicle to make the trip.

8. The state vehicle dispatcher shall cause to be marked on every state- owned motor vehicle a sign in a conspicuous place which indicates its ownership by the state except cars requested to be exempt by the commissioner of public safety or the director of the department of general services. All state-owned motor vehicles shall display registration plates bearing the word "official" except cars requested to be furnished with ordinary plates by the commissioner of public safety or the director of the department of general services pursuant to section 321.19. The state vehicle dispatcher shall keep an accurate record of the registration plates used on all state cars.

9. The state vehicle dispatcher shall have the authority to make such other rules regarding the operation of state-owned motor vehicles, with the approval of the director of the department of general services, as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter. All rules adopted by the vehicle dispatcher shall be approved by the director before becoming effective.

10. All gasoline used in state-owned automobiles shall be purchased at cost from the various installations or garages of the state department of transportation, state board of regents, department of human services, or state car pools throughout the state, unless such purchases are exempted by the vehicle dispatcher. The vehicle dispatcher shall study and determine the reasonable accessibility of these state-owned sources for the purchase of gasoline. If these state-owned sources for the purchase of gasoline are not reasonably accessible, the vehicle dispatcher shall authorize the purchase of gasoline from other sources. The vehicle dispatcher may prescribe a manner, other than the use of the revolving fund, in which the purchase of gasoline from state-owned sources shall be charged to the department or agency responsible for the use of the automobile. The vehicle dispatcher shall prescribe the manner in which oil and other normal automobile maintenance for state-owned automobiles may be purchased from private sources, if they cannot be reasonably obtained from a state car pool. The state vehicle dispatcher may advertise for bids and award contracts for the furnishing of gasoline, oil, grease, and vehicle replacement parts for all state-owned vehicles. The state vehicle dispatcher and other state agencies, when advertising for bids for gasoline, shall also seek bids for ethanol-blended gasoline.

11. The state vehicle dispatcher is responsible for insuring motor vehicles owned by the state. Insurance coverage may be through a self-insurance program administered by the department or purchased from an insurer. If the determination is made to utilize a self-insurance program the vehicle dispatcher shall maintain loss and exposure data for the vehicles under the dispatcher's jurisdiction. Each agency shall provide to the department all requested motor vehicle loss and loss exposure information.

Section History: Early form

[C39, § 308.3; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, § 21.2; C75, 77, 79, 81, § 18.115]

Section History: Recent form

83 Acts, ch 200, § 12; 85 Acts, ch 115, §1; 86 Acts, ch 1245, § 1975; 87 Acts, ch 145, § 1; 88 Acts, ch 1158, § 5; 89 Acts, ch 76, § 4; 89 Acts, ch 297, § 1; 90 Acts, ch 1252, § 3, 4; 91 Acts, ch 253, § 1; 91 Acts, ch 254, § 1; 93 Acts, ch 26, §1; 94 Acts, ch 1119, §7; 94 Acts, ch 1188, §33, 34; 96 Acts, ch 1085, § 5

Internal References

Referred to in § 18.3, 262.25A

Footnotes

Marking vehicles generally, § 721.8 ~I"Official" plates, § 321.19, 321.170


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