Providing vehicles for execs common in University System
September 09. 2017 10:29PM
CONCORD - The state community college system is not alone in providing vehicles for the exclusive use of its executives. The practice is common within the University System of New Hampshire as well.
The USNH communications office provided the following information on vehicles purchased by the university system for the chancellor, campus presidents and head of the UNH Foundation:
.USNH Chancellor: 2016 VW Golf.
.President of UNH Foundation: 2015 Acura MDX.
.President of UNH: 2013 Infiniti M37.
.President of Keene State College: 2016 Volvo TS.
.President of Plymouth State University: 2016 Volvo XC60.
.President of Granite State College: 2015 Chevy Equinox.
The University System does have a policy on "company cars," which states, "The system shall provide a vehicle for the president's exclusive use ... and shall pay normal maintenance, repairs, and other operating expenses of the vehicle, including insurance.
"The President will be responsible for paying the taxes on the annual 'imputed income' associated with 'personal use' mileage as determined by IRS guidelines, and will report periodically to the University System the 'personal use' mileage for said vehicle."
Charlie Arlinghaus, commissioner of the N.H. Department of Administrative Services, says the use of "company cars" by the community college and university systems is not consistent with how the fleet is managed in state government.
"There is a significant fleet management policy," he said. "Cars are usually pool vehicles. There are some commissioners who, due to the nature of their work, have a car that is issued to them." He cited Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers, who travels widely, as one example.
"But every vehicle is evaluated every year, without exception," Arlinghaus said, "and if people take the car home, we need to know that."
Controls over the use of state-owned vehicles were strengthened after the publication of a series called "Fleet Week" by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy in 2011.
All three of New Hampshire's liquor commissioners lost the use of their state-issued cars after racking up thousands of miles in personal use in 2011, according to the report.
Under a state law, state agencies have to reassign cars that are used more than 15 percent of the time for nonbusiness use, unless a panel of state officials approves a waiver.