NASA Official Fleet Management Handbook
The decision whether to purchase or lease can involve
several factors, but the key things that affect the decision are
expected utilization, and expected retention cycle. If a vehicle has
moderate to high utilization, then a GSA lease with a relatively short
term (3 to 6 years) may be the best approach. If, however, utilization
is fairly low and retention cycles are expected to be longer than GSA
leasing cycles, it may be better to purchase the vehicle because the
acquisition cost is spread over a long period of time. The NASA Agency
Transportation Manager can provide guidance to help perform a detailed
purchase versus lease analysis.
Purchasing New Vehicles
New vehicle requirements shall be coordinated with the
CTO, who can assist with the evaluation of the job to be performed with
the vehicle and the development of appropriate vehicle specifications.
As stated in NPR 6200.1B, the CTO will annually validate the type and
quantity of vehicles for Government-owned, contractor-operated vehicles.
Contractors shall coordinate new vehicle requirements through the CTO.
Purchasing Used Vehicles
Procurement of used vehicles may be appropriate in
cases where expected utilization does not justify the initial cost of a
new vehicle. For example, if a large crane
truck is essential to the Center’s mission but only needed for an hour
each day, and rental units are either unavailable or very inconvenient
to obtain and return, it may be better to purchase a used crane truck
that is in good condition. Purchase of used vehicles will be processed
in the same manner as new vehicle procurement.
The CTO authorizes the use of Government-owned or
leased vehicles to support NASA customers. The most economical and
efficient means of transportation shall be provided in all cases.
Contractor use of GSA vehicles will be addressed in Chapters 9 and 10.
Commercial leases shall only be used when that
approach has been determined to be the most cost-effective alternative
to providing customer support. Otherwise, only NASA-owned and GSA
vehicles will be utilized. Commercial leases should be established when
determined to be cost effective Recurrent use of commercial
rentals/leases (i.e. “back to back”) to bypass standard acquisition
procedures and TV standards is strictly prohibited. The CTO shall be
notified regarding all commercial leases and shall track the types,
quantities, and duration of such leases in order to evaluate the need
for additional vehicle resources for the Center. See paragraph 1.3.6 and
chapter 10 and 11 for more details on vehicle assignment for
A rental is normally classified as a contractual
arrangement for less than 60 days. Centers may use these arrangements to
meet emergent or peak work-load requirements without regard to
established vehicle allowances. Other customer requirements should also
be met with rentals especially where utilization does not justify a full
time assignment. The CTO shall be notified regarding all vehicle rentals
and shall track the types, quantities, and duration of rentals in order
to evaluate the need for additional vehicle resources for the Center.
Demonstrations of new types of vehicles by vendors for
the purpose of evaluating their functionality is highly discouraged.
The lightest and most fuel efficient vehicle that
fully meets the needs of any customer requirement shall be acquired;
however, vehicle total life cycle cost analysis methods
should be employed where appropriate to assure the most economical
vehicle is selected.
Prior to vehicle procurement, the CTO should
coordinate with vehicle users to determine specific requirements. This
can also be accomplished during annual utilization reviews. Once
requirements have been identified, they can then be developed into
specifications to be forwarded to the applicable procuring agency for
acquisition, provided funding is available. In some cases where new or
specialized types of vehicles or equipment are being specified, the CTO
should require approval of the specification by an appropriate manager
of the using department.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program
Vehicle acquisitions must take into account the
provisions of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 and Executive Order
(E.O.) 13149. These documents set forth the statutory requirements for
the acquisition of AFVs by Federal agencies. The requirements emphasize
that in fiscal year 2000 and beyond, 75% of light duty vehicle
acquisitions in covered fleets must be AFVs. Annual EPAct and E.O. 13149
compliance is reported through FAST.
Replacement Schedule by Class
Vehicle replacement plans will be developed annually
for all vehicles in the inventory. For GSA vehicles, this plan will be
developed in time to meet their procurement cycle, normally starting in
October of each year. It is recommended that Centers develop 5-year
replacement funding plans in order to help predict the peaks and valleys
in procurement funding needs for all NASA-owned vehicles (see Preface
section P3 for definition of the fleet).
New Vehicle Deliveries, Marking, and Registration
New vehicles received in the inventory shall be
prepared and placed in service within 15 working days after receipt.
In-Servicing refers to the process of bringing a newly
delivered vehicle into the fleet. For GSA vehicles, the CTO will be
notified when vehicles are due for replacement and the new vehicles have
been received. Vehicle users should be notified to retrieve the vehicle
from the proper location and report copies of the paperwork and credit
card information to the CTO. The CTO or contractor-assigned personnel
will acknowledge receipt of owned vehicles and add them to inventory
of Old Vehicle for New Replacement
Vehicles that have been replaced shall be terminated
as soon as possible. It is recognized that GSA vehicles must be
inspected by the FMC prior to turn in to ensure damage has not occurred
beyond fair wear and tear.
The following data elements shall be collected
completely and accurately for every vehicle and stored electronically in
separate data fields and kept with NASA Records Retention NASA 1441:
Identification Number (VIN)
Type (e.g. Passenger Van, or Pickup)
Type (Miles, or Hours, or Both)
Reading at Delivery
Acquisition Cost (For Owned Units)
Acquisition Date (Date Purchased or New to NASA Fleet)
Service Date (Date delivered to end user)
Note that additional data elements may be necessary
(for example, lifting capacity of a crane or forklift).
When a new vehicle arrives, it should be thoroughly
inspected concurrently by the CTO and a representative of the using
department to verify that it conforms to the purchase specifications.
Discrepancies should be noted and reported to the proper office. If
possible, the vehicle should be test driven and special equipment should
be test operated by a trained operator. Arrangements should be made for
operator training if appropriate.
The most basic and essential identification number for
any vehicle or piece of equipment is the manufacturer’s VIN. A unique
NASA “Vehicle Number” shall also be assigned to every fleet unit so
that, in the event of a consolidation of NASA fleet data, there will be
no duplicates. For vehicles carrying a NASA or GSA license plate, the
license number shall serve as the NASA Vehicle Number to be used in
fleet management information systems and most reports.
Vehicle Quality Assurance
The CTO shall ensure that all new vehicles delivered
to customers are properly prepared and free of defects. When a vehicle
fails to meet the specification, reports shall be prepared and forwarded
to the appropriate office for resolution.
Acquisition of Medium and Heavy Duty Versus Light
Prior to acquiring medium and heavy duty vehicles,
comprehensive analyses should be done, as these resources are expensive
and cause a significant drain on capital and operating budgets,
especially when they are procured and then underutilized. Evaluation
regarding utilization of these assets is accomplished during the annual
utilization review and more frequently if the CTO deems it necessary.
Page: 5. Vehicle Acquisition -
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