Motor Vehicles

Motor Vehicle Policy

Policy Code: FN1830

Purpose

The University has a sizeable motor vehicle fleet and it is important that vehicle utilisation, routine maintenance and replacement (or new acquisitions) are managed in line with the approved procedure - both from the viewpoint of efficient and effective fleet management and cost control.

Scope

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

Legislative Context

Definitions

Term Definition
Accountable Items: Can include 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, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Executive Deans, Executive Directors 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 Faculties 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 their appointment.
Employment Contract Vehicle – Allocated Vehicles:

For certain positions, the University can provide a vehicle to an Eligible Officer as part of their 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 their appointment.
Fringe Benefit Tax:

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 applies where a vehicle has been used for private purposes eg: travel between home and work.

Please note, FBT arrangements are not applicable to University students because they are not on staff.

Fleet Manager: Is the responsible person nominated to manage the University's Vehicle Fleet.
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 Federation University Australia Union Collective Agreement 2015-2018)

(a) a spouse (including a former spouse, a de facto spouse, a former de facto spouse, or same sex partner);

(b) a child (including an adopted child, a permanent care child, a foster child, a step-child or an ex-nuptial child), daughter-in-law, son-in-law, parent, parent-in-law, foster parent, legal guardian, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee or of the employee’s spouse;

(c) a relative who has taken the place of a parent, or a relative residing with the employee;

(d) a person for whom the employee has caring responsibilities arising from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship relationship of equivalent status to (a)-(c) above.

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).
Smart Fleet Vehicle management provider. Includes maintenance, roadside breakdown assistance, replacement etc.
Smart Fleet System Vehicle management and electronic booking system.
Specialist Vehicle – Departmental Vehicles: A vehicle purchased or leased by the university and issued to a Faculty/Portfolio or an Authorised User specifically for University Business.
Vehicle Log: Document kept in the Vehicle or electronic records held on the Smart Fleet system that enables the recording of particulars of a trip in the vehicle and meets tax law requirements.

Policy Statement

Business Use Only Vehicles

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 their contract of employment. An employment contract vehicle must be made available to other staff (Authorised Users) to undertake University business during normal business hours.

University vehicle users must hold a current Drivers Licence and be competent to drive the particular vehicle type being booked (i.e., 4WD, manual gearbox vehicle). Where applicable, consideration should also be given to the drivers experience in relation to load carriage (load security / configuration) and where towing is a requirement.

The Driving Guideline document provides staff with important information in relation to their use of university vehicles, including safe driving behaviours, what to do in an accident/emergency situation or if you experience vehicle trouble (i.e., flat tyre or other mechanical failure).

Staff should be aware that driving a University vehicle in a manner that is contrary to the behaviours identified in the Driving Guideline has the potential to create a negative public perception of the University. Accordingly, staff identified as responsible for poor driving behaviour and/or misuse of a University vehicle may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Staff Code of Conduct Policy.

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. Please note that general passenger vehicles should not be used for private purposes as any such use will attract a FBT liability.

Specialist Vehicles

Where a Faculty/Portfolio requires a specialist application vehicle, they should consult the Fleet Manager as to suitable available options prior to ordering the vehicle. Vehicle selection should be based on Faculty/Portfolio business use requirements.

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

Employment Contract Vehicles - Allocated Vehicles

For certain positions, the University can provide a vehicle to an Eligible Officer as part of their 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 cost of vehicle use is allocated to primary salary department accounts and is included in the calculation of total remuneration package. The vehicle costs will include FBT.

Traffic fines and/or infringements

All fines and/or infringements incurred through use of pool, allocated, hire car or privately owned motor vehicles such as speeding offences or parking infringements, are the responsibility of the driver to pay and are not reimbursable by the University.

Hire cars

In the instance where no pool vehicles are available, a hire car should be considered as an alternative. Hire cars may be booked through the Concur travel and expense management system.

Fuel Cards

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

Overnight garaging and private use of pool vehicles

The use of University pool vehicles for business purposes may include some incidental private use.

Examples of incidental private use of a pool vehicle may include (but is not limited to):

  • Overnight garaging: Business Use Vehicles – Pool Vehicles are permitted to be garaged at a staff member’s home address:
    • as preparation for a meeting early the next day (the vehicle should be picked up after 2.00pm and the meeting should commence prior to 10.00am);
    • where that arrangement is deemed to be the most efficient in relation to the individuals travel plans (i.e., it may be unreasonable or impractical to expect to pick up or drop off from a particular campus with regard to time of day and/or home address and business destination); and
    • approval for overnight garaging is required from the University Fleet Manager prior to booking the vehicle via email request to Phil Collins: p.collins@federation.edu.au.
  • travel between home and work where the vehicle is a utility or panel van; and
  • travel incidental to travel in the course of performing employment-related duties.

Use of University pool vehicles for private purposes which are determined to be greater than incidental use will create a fringe benefit for the staff member and may create a FBT liability for the University.

Where use of a pool vehicle would necessitate extensive private purpose use (i.e., because your personal vehicle was being garaged at a campus overnight), staff are recommended to consider renting a hire car or alternatively, using their own motor vehicle and claiming a mileage reimbursement.

Use of Privately Owned Motor Vehicle

Please note: It is University policy that staff utilise a pool vehicle or hire car in preference to using their own vehicle, particularly where the travel requirement is further afield than their immediate workplace location/surrounds.

The following guidance is provided to clarify when private vehicle use may be considered:

  • Circumstances whereby the most effective and efficient means to conduct University Business could entail use of a staff member’s private vehicle (regardless of pool vehicle or hire car availability). An example of such a circumstance might be where a staff member routinely travels between the Ballarat campuses and where approval/reimbursement is not requested for that private vehicle use.
  • Where a staff member has found that a University pool or hire vehicle was unavailable at the time required. In this instance, the Private Vehicle Use Approval Form should be completed by the staff member and signed by their line manager prior to undertaking the travel.
  • Where a pool vehicle or hire car is available but there are other aspects of the travel that indicate use of a staff members private vehicle is more efficient and effective. In this instance, the staff member should discuss that with their line manager and if agreed that private vehicle use is acceptable, complete the Private Vehicle Use Approval Form prior to undertaking travel.

Use of a privately owned motor vehicle for conduct of University Business is subject to the following conditions:

  • Written authorisation must be obtained before travel is undertaken using the Private Vehicle Use Approval Form. This authorisation should be obtained from the individual’s line manager (or the line manager’s nominated delegate).
  • The University will not accept any liability arising from the use of a privately owned motor vehicle on University Business.
  • Approval for the use of a privately owned motor vehicle on University business is dependent upon the vehicle being registered, roadworthy and covered by a current comprehensive insurance policy.
  • Where a staff member uses their privately owned motor vehicle and the value of the employees claim exceeds the cost of an economy airfare, the lesser amount will be paid. This circumstance may arise where a staff member wishes to use their private vehicle for interstate travel; the cost of an airfare may be less than the cost of reimbursement.

Vehicle Allowance Rates

A mileage allowance of 20 cents per kilometre will apply for private vehicle use; and

Private Vehicle Use for travel to the airport will be reimbursed based on the applicable return / one way Airport Shuttle Bus rate.

  • Reimbursement rates will be determined by the University and will be reviewed annually. Reimbursement rates are assessed with regard to variable costs associated with operating the vehicle for a particular journey (limited to fuel and proportional tyre wear / servicing) and are not intended to compensate for the whole-of-life cost of ownership of the vehicle.

Salary Package Vehicle Use

Salary Package Vehicles will be reimbursed at the rate of 20 cents per kilometre where an individual is required to travel more than 50km from their usual place of work on University Business.

Acquisition and Disposal of Vehicles

Only the University's Facilities Services Directorate is authorised to place orders for purchase of University vehicles and to arrange disposal action with respect to University vehicles. The following should also be noted:

  1. General passenger vehicles are to be automatic, white in colour and be fitted with LED Daytime Running Lamps where available, otherwise the lights on function is to be implemented whilst driving.
  2. The only optional extra that will normally be approved is a tow bar, wiring and electric brakes where this is a requirement of university business use, for example where load carriage is a routine business need.
  3. Only the approved vehicles will be ordered by the Fleet Manager for general passenger use.

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 value for money outcome for the University. The value for money assessment will include consideration of other factors such as impact on the environment, driver safety and discount availability through Victorian Government Fleet Contracts. Over time, it is expected that the composition of the University’s fleet will vary.

The Fleet Manager will coordinate 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.

Supporting Documents

Responsibilities

  • The Vice Chancellor and President, the Deputy Vice Chancellors, Executive Deans and Executive Directors of Faculties/Portfolios 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 Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer will have the responsibility for Faculties or Portfolios 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.
  • Facilities Services or nominee are responsible for notifying faculties and portfolios when scheduled maintenance is required on allocated vehicles and for arranging servicing for pool vehicles.
  • 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.
  • Users of an Allocated Vehicle are responsible for notifying Facilities at the earliest opportunity where the vehicle they are using develops a fault and/or becomes unroadworthy.
  • The Chief Operating Officer/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 coordinated by the Fleet Manager.

Promulgation

The Motor Vehicle Policy will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents” page on the “Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University” website to alert the University wide community of the approved Policy.

Implementation

The Motor Vehicle Policy will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents” page on the “Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University” website to alert the University wide community of the approved Policy.