Further Critique of State’s Rental Car Contract

WTVF-TV’s Phil Williams and Tennessee Tax Revolt’s Ben Cunningham teamed up for a followup critique of the state car rental contract with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. (Previous post HERE)
Excerpts:
As our investigation first revealed, the Haslam administration outsourced state government’s motor pool to Enterprise and its WeCar car-sharing program. It did that without giving any other company a chance to compete for the job.
But while the state contract with Enterprise specifically calls for “hourly car-sharing services,” there are no hourly rates.
So when the Department of Education checked out a mid-size car and used it for just 51 minutes, Enterprise sent them a bill for $34 — the full daily rate.
When the Board of Probation and Parole reserved a minivan for exactly one hour, even though no one ever showed up to get it, the agency still got hit with a $48 charge.
…And even though state employees get locked out of a WeCar at the end of a trip, Enterprise still sends them a bill for the full reservation if they end a trip early — unless they take the time to go online and change the reservation.
Which is how the Department of Correction, after using a car for just two days, got a bill for four days. That’s because the original reservation was for three days — and 30 minutes.
“When something occurs like this, they should go back to the vendor and say, ‘Hey, this is a huge contract. You give us the benefit of the doubt. You give us the best rate,'” Cunningham said.
And while the state’s contract with Enterprise offers a cheaper weekly rate, it usually doesn’t show up on bills it sends to state agencies.
So when the Department of Education rented a minivan, it got the daily rate times seven. The weekly rate would be almost $50 cheaper.
…But Enterprise insisted that it doesn’t get one cent more than it should.
That’s because, when the Department of General Services negotiated the deal, it promised Enterprise a guaranteed amount each month. And after Enterprise bills all those state agencies, General Services always has to write a check to make up the difference.
…As NewsChannel 5 Investigates previously reported, in the last 12 months, General Services had to pay $289,000 to make up the difference.
In fact, Enterprise said that it generates the bills based on rules specifically set up by the state and that General Services approves every bill before it goes to the other departments — including those questionable charges uncovered in our investigation.

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