CPPM Policy Chapter 11: Transportation

This Core Policy and Procedures Manual chapter describes policy with respect to common transportation (i.e., public transportation, and private, government and rental vehicles) used in government operations. Standards on the most appropriate and cost-effective mode of transportation, and accident reporting requirements are covered. References to government fleet vehicle policy, procedures and vehicle agreements are provided. 

11.1 Objective

Ensure that those who are conducting government business use the most appropriate and cost-effective mode of transportation that is available.

11.2 General

Common modes of transportation include public transportation, privately owned vehicles, government vehicles, rental vehicles and chartered aircraft (in a limited set of circumstances). Treasury Board Directive 3/98 authorized the establishment of a fleet management services arrangement between government and the private sector. The Procurement Services Branch, SSBC, Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services, provides guidelines on the use of various types of transportation.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Director, eProcurement and Sourcing Solutions, Procurement Services Branch, SSBC, is the contract manager for government's vehicle agreements with ARI Financial Services, Inc. (ARI). Procurement Services Branch, SSBC provides advice to Treasury Board and ministries on transportation policies and management practices for:

  • vehicle fleet planning, management, utilization, registration and licensing;
  • acquisition, disposal, inspection and maintenance; and
  • clean technology vehicles, alternative fuels and innovations in vehicle technology.

Procurement Services Branch, SSBC also advises ministries regarding Corporate Supply Arrangements (CSAs) for the rental of light vehicles for periods ranging from 30 to 365 days.

Ministry Fleet Coordinators manage each ministry's vehicle fleet, including:

  • communicating vehicle management policies and procedures within the ministry;
  • ensuring that ministry vehicles are appropriately assigned, utilized and managed;
  • developing the ministry fleet plan; and
  • acting as the ministry contact with ARI and Procurement Services.

ARI provides fleet management information, including vehicle inventory.

The Risk Management Branch, Ministry of Finance, advises Treasury Board, Procurement Services Branch, SSBC and ministries on policies and management practices related to vehicle insurance and accident reporting.

11.3 Policy

11.3.1 General

  1. An employee conducting government business must use the most cost effective and appropriate mode of transportation choosing from public transportation, use of a government, rental or private vehicle. Public transportation includes buses, taxis, ferries, trains, commercial flights and certain charter flights.
  2. Use of a privately-owned vehicle is to be considered after determining that the following modes of transportation (in order of preference) is not appropriate or cost-effective:
    1. public transportation,
    2. government vehicles, or
    3. rental vehicles.
  3. The type of vehicle and the period of time that it is required determine whether a ministry may rent or purchase a government vehicle. Light vehicles must comply as follows:

For more information for light vehicles and other types of vehicles, refer to the vehicle rentals Corporate Supply Arrangements on Goods and Services Catalogue.

  1. Group transportation alternatives (e.g., ride sharing, government or rental vans/buses, group airfare rates) must be considered over individual vehicle travel for groups of employees who are required to travel to the same business location.
  2. Ministries must ensure that all vehicles, including daily rentals and privately owned vehicles, are suitable for the intended purpose and use. Government vehicles must be properly maintained and defects corrected promptly.
  3. The vehicle operator must pay parking fines, traffic violation fines, and impoundment and towing fees when driving a privately owned, government, rented or leased vehicle on government business.

11.3.2 Privately-Owned Vehicles

  1. Government employees are reimbursed for mileage costs for privately owned vehicles such as automobiles, sport utility vehicles and light trucks, but not bicycles. Generally, when daily travel exceeds approximately 150 kilometres (or 13,000 kilometres annually), a government vehicle becomes more cost-effective and should be used.
  2. Ministries must not use employees' privately owned aircraft or boats. Ministries must use recognized commercial or licensed charter companies for all employee transportation in aircraft or boats.
  3. The vehicle owner is responsible for purchasing and maintaining valid third-party liability insurance in an amount not less than $2 million. Government employees transporting government property, other employees, contractors, volunteers, or clients in privately owned vehicles in the course of government business are not required to carry higher limits. The vehicle must be rated for business use if it will be used for business purposes more than six (6) days per month. Ministry expense authorities must ensure compliance with this policy before authorizing the use of a privately owned vehicle for government business.
  4. Government employees may voluntarily use a privately owned bicycle for government business travel provided:
    • the employee wears an approved helmet (i.e., ASTM, ANSI or SNELL) and are encouraged to take a cycling safety course or read approved instructional material (i.e., Bike Sense, The British Columbia Bicycle Operators Manual);
    • the bicycle is in good working order and employees have adequate insurance should their bicycle be lost, stolen or damaged during business travel; and
    • commuting time is comparable to other means of travel (i.e., motor vehicle, public transit).

11.3.3 Government Vehicles

a. Vehicle Management

  1. Ministries must report to ARI each month the current odometer reading for each vehicle and executive lease vehicle.
  2. Fleet vehicles must be managed according to an annual fleet plan approved by each ministry's executive financial officer. The plan must include performance benchmarks such as vehicle operating costs per kilometre, a vehicle disposal and replacement schedule, and total projected operating costs.
  3. Fleet vehicles must be pooled within the ministry rather than assigned to an individual employee on a continuous basis. The executive financial officer or designate can authorize the assignment where the employee:
    • travels more than 13,000 kilometres on government business annually; or
    • requires a vehicle for the performance of job duties for which the use of a pool vehicle is inappropriate or not feasible.
  4. Fleet vehicles may be used on a seasonal basis, but only when this is the most economical option. The costs of seasonal use of vehicles must be evaluated annually by the program manager based on information available from the Procurement Services Branch, SSBC and ARI.
  5. All government vehicles, unless exempted by the ministry's executive financial officer or designate, must display a decal according to government standards. Refer to vehicle rentals Corporate Supply Arrangements on Goods and Services Catalogue for more information.
  6. Operators are responsible for damages resulting from unauthorized use of a government vehicle. Unauthorized use of a government vehicle is subject to disciplinary action, and should be reported to the Executive Financial Officer for resolution.
  7. Vehicles do not have to be insured or registered if they are subject to the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act.
  8. All executive lease vehicles must be acquired in accordance with Treasury Board Orders 204, 209 and 231, and the Official Duties Expense Regulation (BC Reg 226/2001 as amended). Procurement Services Branch, SSBC must acquire executive lease vehicles on behalf of all ministers, deputy ministers and equivalents.
  9. All executive lease vehicles must be insured by ICBC for full collision and comprehensive coverage and for $2 million third party liability coverage.
  10. Bicycles may be purchased or leased for business travel use if the number of employees choosing to cycle warrants the costs of ownership. Ministries must ensure the following conditions are in place:
    • safety equipment is provided (i.e., ASTM, ANSI or SNELL-approved helmets, lights and reflective accessories);
    • regular bicycle maintenance provided by a private bicycle shop;
    • employees are encouraged to take a cycling safety course or read approved instructional material (i.e., Bike SenseThe British Columbia Bicycle Operators Manual);
    • ensure the safekeeping of ministry provided bicycles; and
    • commuting time is comparable to other means of travel (i.e., motor vehicle, public transit).

b. Use of Government Vehicles

The government's fleet of vehicles is intended for use wherever it is the most appropriate and/or cost-effective mode of transporting employees and delivering programs. The fleet is comprised of vehicles that are owned or rented for more than 30 days.

Government vehicles are insured through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) for public liability and are self-insured for fire, theft, collision and comprehensive.

  1. All drivers of government vehicles must hold a valid BC driver's licence for the type of vehicle. Exceptions for out-of-province license holders (e.g. seasonal workers) must have written authorization from the executive financial officer or designate.  Ministries are to confirm the driver’s license-status of any operator driving a government vehicle (e.g. validity, relevant restrictions, “N” status and corresponding requirements).
  2. Authorized drivers of government vehicles must only include:
    • Government employees (including regular and auxiliary employees, co-op students, and seconded employees);
    • Contractors and volunteers where use of a government vehicle is deemed in the best interest of the province (e.g. financial or otherwise) and where prior written authorization from the executive financial officer or designate has been obtained.
      Use of a government vehicle by a contractor or volunteer must be supported through a written agreement between the contractor or volunteer and the Province and must contain provisions respecting the operation of the government vehicle including an accident, vandalism, and loss reporting process.  The Province’s usual insurance coverage will apply.  Use of government vehicles by contractors or volunteers as a matter of convenience should be discouraged;
    • Other persons authorized in writing by the executive financial officer or designate.
  3. Authorized passengers in government vehicles must only include:
    • government employees transported in the performance of their duties;
    • spouses or children accompanying government employees on travel status;
    • contractors, volunteers, clients, or persons other than employees transported in connection with government business; and
    • persons authorized in writing by the executive financial officer or designate.
  4. An ARI Service Card is issued for each government vehicle and selected equipment and marine vessels. Ministries must ensure that the inventory of service cards maintained by ARI is accurate and complete. Expired cards and cards no longer required must be destroyed or returned. The vehicle operator must immediately report lost or stolen cards to ARI (1 855 446-4274) and the ministry chief financial officer or delegate.
  5. The ARI Service Card must be used for all purchases of fuel, lubricants and incidental items for vehicles, equipment, marine vessels and aircraft. Alternate purchasing methods are only permissible in communities where the service card is not accepted.
  6. When not in use or during off-duty hours, government vehicles must be parked:
    • in safe and secure locations, and locked with all windows closed; and
    • at or near the office location.

Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the executive financial officer or designate and recorded by the ministry Fleet Coordinator for reporting purposes.

  1. Authorized drivers must take prudent measures to protect all government assets in their possession. Items of value are to be removed from the passenger compartment and secured in the trunk of the vehicle or in the employee's accommodation.
  2. Government vehicles must only be used for business purposes. Exceptions for limited personal use are for:
    • incidental use while on travel status;
    • travel during off-duty hours authorized by collective agreements; or
    • travel between an employee's home and workplace when this is a condition of employment.

Any additional personal use requires approval from the executive financial officer or designate.

  1. Where there is personal use of a government vehicle by an employee, the value of the taxable benefit derived from personal use and availability of the vehicle must be included in the employee's income. Distance in kilometres that is a personal benefit must be separately shown on odometer reports submitted to ARI to assist with the calculation of the taxable benefit. 

c. Out-of-Province Use of Government Vehicles

  1. There are no limitations on driving out-of-province except for the standard provisions regarding use of government vehicles for out-of-province travel on the MYHR website, and provided that the applicable expense authority agrees that the travel is required and that the use of a government vehicle is the most cost-effective method of travel.
  2. Fuel can be purchased at most gas stations using the ARI Service Card, but an alternative payment method may be required if the supplier is outside of the ARI network (including all fuel retailers in the U.S., as the ARI Service Card does not support U.S. purchases).
  3. In the event the vehicle needs mechanical repairs, the operator must call the BC Government Driver Help Line (1 855 446-4274) and ARI will route the operator to a repair facility.  Pricing will be what ARI may have negotiated with the service centre (note: this may be higher than CSA prices as no CSAs are established for out-of-province service areas).
  4. In the event of an accident, the operator is to follow regular procedures which include a call to the BC Government Driver Help Line (1-855-446-4274). If the vehicle is non-operable following the accident, the Ministry, in discussion with ARI and Risk Management Branch, would need to identify the best option of arranging for repairs.
  5. Ministries are to confirm the driver’s licence status of the employees driving the vehicle (e.g., validity, relevant restrictions, "N" status and requirements) and confirm that license's validity within the out-of-province jurisdiction(s) in which they will be travelling.

11.3.4 Short-term Rental Vehicles

  1. Employees renting vehicles must not purchase:
    • the Personal Accident Insurance option (work-related accidents are covered by Workers Compensation benefits both inside and outside of BC);
    • the Collision Damage Waiver option when renting the vehicle through a government master standing offer with the rental firm or using the corporate travel card (The corporate travel card provides for collision damage insurance coverage that is valid worldwide.); and
    • Cargo Insurance or Personal Effect Insurance.

When the employee does not have the corporate travel card and there is no rental outlet with a corporate supply arrangement (CSA) with government, employees must purchase and claim Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) when renting a vehicle.

  1. Employees must comply with the operating restrictions in the vehicle rental agreement. Before taking possession of the vehicle, employees must inspect the vehicle for exterior and interior damage, and report any damage to the rental firm.
  2. Employees must not accept any charges for damages to a rental vehicle. Refer the rental firm to the Risk Management Branch.
  3. Employees are expected to protect government property while in their possession by locking and securing the rental vehicle when not in use. An extraordinary loss of personal property may be reimbursed. If the corporate travel card was used to pay for the vehicle rental, the loss of personal property secured in the vehicle may be claimed. For personal property loss or insurance information, contact the Risk Management Branch.

11.3.5 Vehicle Accidents, Vandalism and Other Losses

a. Government Vehicles

  1. All vandalism and theft incidents over $100 must be reported to the ministry Fleet Coordinator and the local police, within 24 hours of discovery. See also CPPM L, Loss Reporting.
  2. Every accident must be reported to the BC Government Driver Help Line (1 855 446-4274) and the ministry Fleet Coordinator (or their staff) within 24 hours.

    Ministries must notify the BC Government Driver Help Line of accidents within 24 hours when it involves the following, as ARI Vehicle Accident Services files all claims with ICBC on behalf of the ministry:
    • a second vehicle;
    • a pedestrian;
    • damage to the property of others; or
    • hit-and-run where damages exceed $350.

Ministries must notify the local police of an accident within 24 hours when it involves:

  • damage exceeding $1,000;
  • a person who has sustained injury or death;
  • hit-and-run with damages; or
  • vandalism or theft of government property.

An operator involved in an accident must not admit liability and will provide only the information required by the investigating police officer.

  1. All accidents, with the exception of those involving ambulances, must be reported to the BC Government Driver Help Line ( 1 855 446-4274). A Vehicle Accident Services Driver’s Report may be obtained electronically via email at bcgov@arifleet.ca. Accidents involving ambulances must be reported by the ambulance driver according to policy and procedures established by the BC Ambulance Service.
  2. Before repairs are made to an accident-damaged light vehicle, ARI must be consulted to ensure that:
    • competitive estimates have been obtained;
    • the work is cost-effective, given the life expectancy and condition of the vehicle; and
    • good quality bodywork and mechanical repairs are carried out.

b. Executive Lease Vehicles

Any accident (including hit and run) or incident (including vandalism) must be reported to ICBC Dial-a-Claim at 1 800 910-4222 within 24 hours, by the operator, regardless of who is at fault. A Vehicle Accident Services Driver’s Report may be obtained electronically via email at bcgov@arifleet.ca and must be filed with ARI Vehicle Accident Services.

c. Rental Vehicles

All accidents must be reported to:

  • the rental agency within 24 hours; and
  • the employee's supervisor and/or manager, who in turn must report it to the Risk Management Branch and the ministry Fleet Coordinator.

The local police must be informed within 24 hours when:

  • damages exceed $1,000;
  • a person has sustained injury or death; or
  • there has been a hit-and-run accident with damage.

An operator involved in an accident must not admit liability and provide only the information required by the investigating police officer.

If the rental vehicle is stolen, the theft must be reported to the local police and the rental firm immediately. All damage resulting from vandalism or theft must be reported to:

  • the rental company within 24 hours; and
  • the local police (before the vehicle is moved, if possible). 

d. Privately-Owned Vehicles

Damage to an employee's privately owned vehicle is reimbursable if the damage occurs in the course of government business:

  • as a result of an accident; or
  • by a ward or client of the province.

In general, the ministry must reimburse the employee the lesser of the costs of repairing the vehicle or the cost of the vehicle's insurance deductible. The government will not pay any additional insurance premiums arising from the loss of safe driver discounts resulting from an accident. See the BC Public Service Agency's Appendix 1, section 4, Vehicle Damage Reimbursement (PDF) for reimbursable costs.

Procedure Requirements - C.5

11.3.6 Chartered Aircraft

For the use of chartered aircraft by ministers, Travel, section 10.3.6. policy 1, must be followed.

For the use of chartered aircraft by employees, Travel, section 10.3.6. policy 2, must be followed.

11.4 Information and References

11.4.1 Procurement Services

The Vehicle Fleet Management details government's fleet vehicle policy and procedures, and vehicle agreements with ARI Vehicle Management Services. Topics covered include the following:

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