Motor Vehicles

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Sent For Approval 19 March 2014

Motor Vehicle Policy

Policy Code: FN1830

Purpose

The University has a sizeable motor vehicle fleet and it is important that vehicle replacement (or new acquisitions) and vehicle operations are managed in line with the approved procedure - both from the viewpoint of fleet management and cost minimisation.

Scope

This policy applies to all eligible officers/authorised users of vehicles at all Campuses of the University.

Legislative Context

Road Safety Act 1986

Definitions

Term Definition
Accountable Items: Can include Employment Contract Vehicle, log, keys, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, e-tag, and a fuel card.
Authorised User: A staff member of the University authorised by the Vice Chancellor and President, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Deans or Managers to drive a University Employment Vehicle for University business.
Business Use Vehicle: A vehicle purchased or leased by the University and available for booking by the University's Schools and Portfolios Authorised Users for University Business.
Eligible Officer: (As designated by the Vice Chancellor and President) is a staff member who has an Employment Vehicle as a condition of his/her appointment.
Employment Contract Vehicle -Allocated Vehicles:

For certain positions, the University can provide a vehicle to an Eligible Officer as part of his/her contract of employment. An employment contract vehicle must be made available to other staff (Authorised Users)to undertake University business during normal business hours.

An employment contract vehicle is available for private use.

Employment Contract Vehicle: A vehicle purchased or leased by the University and provided to a staff member for University business and private use as a condition of his/her appointment.
FBT:

Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) is a Tax levied under the FBT Act, paid by the University on fringe benefits provided by the University to its employees or their associates.

FBT is levied using various formulae, depending on the nature of the benefit, these formulae attempt to calculate a tax value which equates to the income tax value which would of been levied on the benefit if that benefit had beenpaid to the employee as salaries or wages.

Fleet Manager Is the responsible person/company nominated to manage a company's transportation. Fleet management includes commercial motor vehicles such as cars, ships, vans and trucks. Fleet (vehicle) management can include a range of functions, such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle tracking and diagnostics, driver, speed and fuel management and health and safety management. Fleet Management is a function which allows companies which rely on transportation in business to remove or minimize the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving effiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation and staff costs, providing 100% compliance with government legislation (duty of care) and many more. These functions can be dealt with by either an in-house fleet-management department or an outsourced fleet-management provider.Specialist
General Use Passenger Vehicle - Pool Vehicle: Pool vehicles are cars, vans or other vehicles the University provides to its employees for business use only.
Immediate Family Member:

Includes: (as defined in the Sex Discrimination Act, 1984)

(a) a spouse of the employee; and

(b) an adult child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee or of a spouse of the employee. Spouse includes a former spouse, a de facto spouse and a former de facto spouse.

Notifiable Event: An accident or incident involving injury to a person, and/or damage to a motor vehicle or property.
Private Motor Vehicle: A 'Private motor Vehicle' is a vehicle owned, leased, rented or provided to and under the lawful care and control of a staff member, is fully registered, is in a roadworthy condition and is fully comprehensively insured.
Private Use : Employee has custody or control of the car whilst not performing employment duties.
Salary Package Vehicles: Novated Leasing is a method of salary packaging a car, under which an employee leases a car and the employer agrees to take on the employee's obligations under the lease, paying the monthly lease rentals from the employee's pre-tax income ("salary sacrificing" this income).
Specialist Vehicle-Departmental Vehicles: A vehicle purchased or leased by the university and issued to a School/Portfolio or an Authorised User specifically for University Business.
Vehicle Log: Document kept in the Employment Vehicle that enables the recording of particulars of a trip in the vehicle and meets tax law requirements.

Policy Statement

Purchase of Vehicles

Only the University's Facilities Service Unit is authorised to place orders for purchase of University vehicles and to arrange disposal action with respect to University vehicles.

Business Use Only Vehicles

Fleet Management University Business Use

For operational reasons, the University may provide a Business Use vehicle to an authorised User, this falls into three classifications:

  1. General Use Passenger Vehicles – Pool Vehicles
  2. Specialist Vehicles (vans, utilities, twin cabs, sedans, trucks etc.) – Departmental Vehicles
  3. Allocated Vehicles - For certain positions, the University can provide a vehicle to an Eligible Officer as part of his/her contract of employment. An employment contract vehicle must be made available to other staff (Authorised Users) to undertake University business during normal business hours.

General Passenger Use Vehicles

For general passenger use vehicles, the University has moved to a standardised, economical and limited range of vehicles. The approved vehicles will be reviewed annually by the Fleet Manager taking into account experience with resale values, safety and operating costs. A current list of approved general passenger use vehicles is available from the Fleet Manager.

(a) General passenger vehicles are to be automatic, and the lights on function is implemented in most vehicles. Some late model cars are unable to have the lights on function enabled.

(b) The only optional extra that will normally be approved is a tow bar, wiring and electric brakes - where this is a requirement of unit/cost centre's business use eg: Station Wagons and load carriers.

(c) Only the approved vehicles will be ordered by the Fleet Manager for general passenger use.

(d) General passenger vehicles must not be used for private purposes, any such use will attract a FBT liability.

Specialist Vehicles

(d) Where a unit/cost centre requires a specialist application vehicle, they should consult the Fleet Manager as to suitable available options prior to ordering the vehicle. Selection of vehicle should be based on unit/cost centre business use requirements.

(e) Specialist vehicles must not be used for private purpose. Exceptions for private use may only occur if vehicle is taken home as part of work requirements eg: On call or working between multiple locations.

Employment Contract Vehicle - Allocated Vehicles

For certain positions, the University can provide a vehicle to an Eligible Officer as part of his/her contract of employment. An employment contract vehicle must be made available to other staff (Authorised Users) to undertake University business during normal business hours.

An employment contract vehicle is available for private use. The use of the vehicle is costed to primary salary department accounts and is included in the calculation of total remuneration package. The vehicle costs will include FBT.

Fuel Cards and Purchases

The University will arrange to issue fuel cards with all business use vehicles and employment contract vehicles.

(a) When purchasing fuel using the fuel card the Eligible Officer/Authorised User must provide the odometer reading to the service station attendant.

(b) Business Use Vehicles must be returned to the University with the fuel gauge indicating no less than half full.  

(c) Under no circumstances are fuel cards to be used for personal expenditure.

(d) Employment Contract Vehicle card holders are required to quote and have recorded vehicle kilometre reading at time of all fuel purchases. This is necessary to ensure FBT records are up to date and accurate.

(f) Loss of fuel cards must immediately be notified to the Fleet Manager who will arrange for cancellation and re-issue of replacement card.

(g) Users must ensure all Business Use Vehicles are returned clean and tidy (vehicles can be washed at any Shell Car Wash and paid for with the Fuel Card).

Acquisition and Disposal of Vehicles

  1. Unless otherwise stated in the Eligible Officer's contract of employment, the type of vehicle purchased and the timing of a changeover will be subject to recommendations from internal and/or external fleet managers to achieve the best possible advantage for the University, impact on the environment, driver safety and discount availability through Victorian Government Fleet Contracts.
  2. The Fleet Manager, will co-ordinate the acquisition and disposal of all Business Use Vehicles and  Employment Contract Vehicles. They will advise the Eligible Officer when the Employment Contract Vehicle has reached the optimum change-over time, and advise which vehicles are currently providing better changeover value, consistent with the Eligible Officer's employment contract.
  3. The composition of the University's fleet may vary from time to time to ensure value for money, safety and environmental impact.

Parking and Traffic Fines

All parking and traffic fines are the responsibility of the driver, or in case of Private/Business Vehicles, the controlling staff member unless the driver at the time of the offence is identified by the controlling staff member. The University will arrange to transfer all fine notices to the driver/controlling staff member for settlement. Fines are a personal expense and shall not be charged to University issued Credit Cards or University Centre Accounts.

Authorised Drivers

a. An Authorised User/Eligible Officer must hold a current and appropriate driver's licence and agree to use the car under the following terms:

b. Obey all laws relating to motor vehicles.

c. Ensure the maintenance of the Employment Contract Vehicle is in a roadworthy condition, by following the instructions in the Drivers Handbook.

d. Be responsible for internal and external cleanliness.

e. Operate the vehicle in accordance with manufacturer instructions and not modify or alter the vehicle in any way. This includes value enhancements of any parts that cannot be removed without disfiguring, damaging the function or appearance of the vehicle. Should such value enhancements be added they must remain with the vehicle at time of surrender. No compensation will be made to the Eligible Officer.

f. Ensure that the vehicle is serviced in accordance with manufacturer specifications, as per driver Handbook Instructions.

g. Securely park or garage the vehicle when not being driven.

h. Employment Contract vehicles must be made available to other staff to undertake University business during working hours, if not needed by the Eligible Officer.

i. Report any noticeable faults or damages.

j. Use the nominated emergency services.

k. Smoking, consumption of illicit drugs or alcohol and the regular transport of pets are prohibited in all University Vehicles.

l. The University will comprehensively insure all Vehicles, provided the Eligible Officer/Authorised User complies with the conditions of this policy. Failure to do so will render the Driver liable for all expenses associated with a Notifiable Event.

m. All Eligible Officers and all Authorised Users involved in a Notifiable Event must comply with all legal and insurance requirements. This includes, if applicable, assisting injured persons, notifying police, exchanging particulars with the other party and so on. Fault must not be admitted to the other party.

n. A Notifiable Event must be reported as soon as possible to the Fleet Manager, to enable repairs to be effected at the earliest opportunity

o. Drivers must make themselves familiar with the Risk, Health and Safety work related driving guidelines

Overnight Access (Other than Travel Involving Overnight Absence Away from Home) of Business Use Vehicles- Pool Vehicles

All bookings of Business Use Vehicles involving overnight and/or weekend access will only be approved where it is unreasonable to require the staff member to collect or return the vehicle from its normal University location. All vehicles are not to be used for private use.

Bookings and Charge-Outs

All University Business Use Vehicles are required to be Vehicle Fleet Management System (VFMS) controlled. Vehicles are required to be booked online through Smartfleet. Users are required to create an online booking using their individual login and password supplied by facility services. Keys are collected and returned to the vehicle computerised lock box located at the vehicle store area. All users must complete the Log book or equivalent substantiation of business use in full. Log details are to be regularly reviewed by the staff member with responsibility for management control of the vehicle.

Smartfleet Accident Management (SAM) & Roadside Assistance

If a driver is involved in an accident whilst driving a Business Use or Employment Contract Vehicle, please refer to the Driver’s Handbook located in the vehicle for instructions.

Services/Maintenance

The University is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is serviced in line with dealer recommended schedules. Facilities Services arrange all services and maintenance for pool vehicles. Department administration staff arrange all service and maintenance for Departmental Vehicles and Personal Assistants arrange the service and maintenanace on Allocated Vehicles. Salary Packaging Vehicles are arranged by the driver.

Apart from Salary Packaging Vehicles all charges are invoiced to Smartfleet. All repairs must seek approval from Smartfleet before proceeding.

Vehicle Pools/Fleet Vehicles

(a) A Business use vehicle may be provided to an Authorised User when a vehicle is required for University business and usage and is approved by the Vice Chancellor and President , Senior/Deputy Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors of Schools/Sections, managers or nominees will approve the use of a Pool Vehicle and staff members

(b) A school or section will be charged for the use of a Business Use Vehicle, (Pool and Departmental) and Employment Contract Vehicle (Allocated). (These will be reviewed on a regular basis).

(c) The University will provide each Business Use Vehicle, (Pool and Departmental) and Employment Contract Vehicle (Allocated) with an e-Tag.

(d) The University will provide each Business Use Vehicle, (Pool and Departmental) and Employment Contract Vehicle (Allocated) with road side assist.

(e) Should no pool vehicle be available after verification through Smartfleet, the requester should contact the University’s nominated vehicle hire Company and hire a car directly. The University enjoys a special rate from Hertz and Avis. These agreements allow University staff to hire vehicles nationally and internationally for both business and personal use at a discounted rate.

(Please see Fleet Management Vehicle Hire)

Privately Owned Motor Vehicle

a. The use of privately owned motor vehicles is prohibited where a pool vehicle is available. For a privately owned motor vehicle to be used the following must apply , copy of unavailabilty screen via Smartfleet along with authorisation in advance by the Vice Chancellor and President, Senior/Deputy ViceChancellors, Deans and Directors.

b. The University will not accept any liability, which may arise from the use of a privately owned motor vehicle on University business.

c. All fines incurred through motor vehicle or traffic infringements and the like will be the responsibility of the driver.

d. Approval for the use of a privately owned motor vehicle on University business is dependent upon the vehicle being registered and covered by a current comprehensive insurance policy.

e. Where a staff member uses his or her privately owned motor vehicle and the value of the employees claim exceeds the cost of an economy airfare, the lesser amount will be paid.

f. Reimbursement rates will be determined by the University and will be reviewed annually.

Authorisation

  1. Written authorisation must be obtained before travel is undertaken. This authorisation should be obtained either from the relevant Senior/Deputy Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors, Vice Chancellor and President or whoever is most appropriate, or their nominated delegate.
  2. Proof that a pool vehicle was unavailable by a copy of the unavailablility screen via Smartfleet and reason as to why a private vehicle was used must accompany the authorised claim for re-imbursement otherwise no payment will be made.

Supporting Documents

  • Copy of Smartfleet vehicle booking unavailability screen
  • http://policy.federation.edu.au/corporate_governance/health_and_safety/hazards_management/ch07.php

Responsibility

The Vice Chancellor and President, the Senior/Deputy Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors of Portfolios/Schools and Sections, Managers or nominees will approve the use of a Pool Vehicle and staff members privately owned motor vehicle for University business. They will also negotiate remuneration packages for Employment Contract Vehicles (Allocated).

-The Director Finance/Chief Financial Officer will have the responsibility for Portfolios or Schools to be allocated a Specialist vehicle/ Departmental vehicle.

-Facilities Services or nominee will be responsible for the purchase or lease and the provision of Pool and Departmental Assigned Vehicles, Employment Contract Vehicles and Accountable Items and for all financial matters relating to them.

  • Authorised Users who drive a Business Use Vehicle and each staff member with an  Employment Contract Vehicle or a claim for University use of their privately owned motor vehicle must comply with the provisions of this Policy.
  • The Director Finance/Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for reimbursing approved claims for business use of privately owned motor vehicles.

The acquisition and disposal of all Pool and Portfolio Assigned Vehicles and Employment Contract Vehicles will be co-ordinated by the Fleet Manager.

Promulgation

The Motor Vehicle Policy will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. Announcement on the FedNews website;
  2. ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  3. Inclusion in the University's online Policy Library;
  4. Distribution of e-mails to relevant University Staff and Stakeholder.

Implementation

The Motor Vehicle Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • Information Sessions/Workshops
  • One on one consultation
  • Training Sessions

Forms/Record Keeping

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period

Approval Form (Use of Staff’s own private vehicle for University business)

the University Policies, Procedures and Forms webpage Director Finance/CFO 7 years
Staff Requisition for Reimbursement Form the University Policies, Procedures and Forms webpage Director Finance/CFO 7 years