Statutory Restrictions on Use of State Vehicles
North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) section 39-01-03 strictly prohibits the private use of motor vehicles that belong to the State. The intent of this statute is clear: state vehicles must be used exclusively for state business. In addition, liability coverage for the State of North Dakota, its agencies and employees is provided through the ND Risk Management Fund (RMF). The RMF is administered according to statute (State Tort Claims Act, N.D.C.C. Ch. 32-12.2) and it specifies that coverage is only for claims against the State and State employees while acting within the scope of authorized State employment. This means that the operation of a state vehicle, other than within the scope of authorized State employment, may expose the driver to: personal liability, employment consequences, and even criminal responsibility for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and misapplication of entrusted property (N.D.C.C. §§ 12.1-23-06 and 12.1-23-07).
|Competent Authority||An employee who has been delegated or provided specific authority by formal policy or job description to perform certain functions for the State, such as: to hire/supervise/direct a person to serve as a volunteer for specific purposes, and to authorize certain activities within the scope or course of their duties. An employee may be held accountable for the persons and activities he/she has so authorized. This means that it is possible for an employee and/or the institution to be responsible for losses, if there is deliberate indifference or disregard to the applicable laws and procedures.|
|Instructor/Supervisor||Refers to a VCSU employee with decision making responsibilities. This person may be a faculty member, club advisor, coach, as assistant, associate or director, chair, department or unit head, or a higher level of administration.|
|Operator||Only state employee and individual approved students. These individuals are eligible to drive state fleet vehicles.|
|State Employee||Individuals working for VCSU or the State of North Dakota or persons assigned by a competent authority to act on behalf of VCSU or the State of North Dakota with or without compensation.|
|State Business||Activities for which the primary purpose is service to VCSU or the State of North Dakota. Activities in which the activity is official business of the state. For the purposes of this policy these activities include, but are not limited to: academic field/study and research-related trips/conferences, etc.; athletic events; University programming-- student organization/club activities and events; local, regional, and/or national conferences, competitions, etc. for students and/or student clubs; student participation in student local and state government.|
|State Fleet Vehicles||Licensed motor vehicles that are owned and leased by the state.|