The committee also indicated an interest in exploring other methods of cutting costs, including federal fleet vehicle repair and maintenance practices. In H.R. 1613’s report, the committee directs the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study to evaluate the cost savings that could be realized by shifting fleet repair work to private sector vendors who could provide these vehicle repair and maintenance services through a full and open competitive procurement process. The report also will determine the practicality of a multiyear phaseout from in-house civilian government repair to the private sector.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supports nondefense federal vehicles being maintained and repaired by the private sector.
On May 21, 2015, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Operations under the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing titled, “Issues Facing Civilian and Postal Service Vehicle Fleet Procurement.”
During the hearing, Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., first raised the point about the cost effectiveness of private sector repairs. In reference to the report language for Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act of 2015, Carter said, “I am pleased this legislation directs GAO to look at the cost savings that could be possible by shifting fleet repair work to private-sector vendors. As a mayor at one time, I had to manage fleets of vehicles similar to these federal fleets. We used best practices and found that sometimes it was more cost-efficient to go to the private sector to have maintenance and repairs done on our vehicles. The federal government also must examine best practices to ensure we are being the best possible stewards of precious taxpayer dollars.”