Friday, July 12, 2002

Let Georgia Put You in the Driver's Seat (of a Police Interceptor)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on "state car hijinks" in the Georgia state government:
Georgia has about 23,000 state vehicles, but don't ask where they all are. The state doesn't know.

In fact, the government can't even say for sure how many vehicles the state owns. State workers authorized to take cars home are required to keep track of the miles they drive, but noncompliance is widespread.

Gov. Roy Barnes gave Georgia's nearly 100 agency directors a month to account for the state's vehicles, but, 41 had not complied by this week's deadline.
Of course there's the usual petty larceny
Auditors say the state is way too loose on who gets cars and what they can bill taxpayers for.


All over Georgia, taxpayers are subsidizing state workers for their commutes to work, at a cost of more than $6 million a year.
But the best item is:
The push to account for state cars and for who's using them started when Rep. Paul Smith (D-Rome) inquired about vehicles assigned to nearly three dozen technical schools scattered across the state. He was especially interested in school administrators being assigned police interceptor versions of a full-sized Ford, which cost $24,000 even when ordered in bulk.

"I was told the only vehicles they had were these old cars that people gave them that they had reworked," Smith said. "But most technical school officials had police special Crown Victorias. And I don't know who they were chasing at 140 mph."

Officials at the state Department of Technical and Adult Education said they don't know how many cars they have or what kind they are. Laura Gammage, assistant commissioner for administrative services, said her agency missed the governor's deadline because it couldn't figure out if the state wants to get reports from each school separately, or if one report with 34 entries would suffice.
I bet a dog ate Laura's homework too! I know this is chump change compared to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development "misplacing" $59 billion, but I want a Police Interceptor!