CHARLESTON, WV - Last year's audit citing more than 5,000 accidents in state vehicles over the past five years is just one in a series of audits contributing to Gov. Joe Manchin's proposed legislation to consolidate and centralize the state's vehicle fleet, according to The Charleston Gazette.

A series of legislative audits last fall found that the state spends $60 million to $70 million a year to maintain its fleet of nearly 7,000 vehicles - including $24 million for gasoline alone in 2008 - but has no effective way to monitor employees' use of the vehicles, reported the Gazette.

Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown confirmed Jan. 5 that Manchin will propose legislation next week to improve fleet management, the Gazette reported.

The new legislation may be modeled after the State of Virginia, which has a centralized fleet with strict policies for assignment and use of state vehicles, according to the Gazette.