Energy

DOI Employees Spent Thousands Of Taxpayer Dollars On Personal Travel

Department of the Interior (DOI) employees spent thousands of dollars on “personal travel at government expense,” according to an independent audit.

Interior employees spent nearly $40,000 in 2015 and 2016 on inappropriate travel costs, according to the audit. The report faulted the agency’s controls, saying they “weren’t effective in ensuring that all non-payroll costs were appropriate and complied with the Act’s administrative requirements.”

The audit focused on the DOI’s implementation of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act. The act was passed to increase funding for conservation projects while cutting down on “waste, fraud, abuse, maladministration, and unauthorized expenditures” of the administration.

The auditors, accounting agency The Joachim Group, also found multiple charges that weren’t allowed because they didn’t directly relate to the administration of the act or managing conservation grants.

The Joachim Group suggested the DOI conduct “refresher training” for officials in charge of determining appropriate travel expenses.

“The Service agrees with the finding,” DOI officials said in response to the audit. “We have implemented a corrective action plan surrounding travel and will continue to implement controls necessary to prevent abuse of the travel system.”

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