Small Business

Improper Payments of Former Administrator's Expenses Gao ID: RCED-91-134 July 19, 1991

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the: (1) accuracy and appropriateness of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) payments for its former Administrator's travel expenses; (2) propriety of SBA payments for continuing legal education courses the former Administrator attended; and (3) number of government-paid trips the former Administrator took to the vicinity of her home.

GAO found that: (1) between April 1989 and December 1990, the former Administrator submitted travel vouchers for 33 trips, for which the government paid for 35 nights' lodging; (2) lodging costs for 24 of those nights exceeded the maximum lodging rates prescribed by the federal travel regulations by a total of $961; (3) the former Administrator had proper authorization and justification for only 2 of those 24 nights; (4) the former Administrator's travel vouchers did not include proper authorizations for all claimed expenses or sufficient information to support miscellaneous and incidental expenses and travel dates and times; (5) the former Administrator attended six continuing legal education courses that SBA paid $700 for without first obtaining Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approval; (6) OPM later concluded that the courses were acceptable, although GAO believes that the training courses did not meet the requirements for providing training to presidential appointees; (7) 23 of the 33 government-paid trips the former Administrator took included stops near her home; and (8) SBA believed that the events were the result of improper advice and not the result of intentional wrongdoing.


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