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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Financial Services
Selected Employee Travel Expenses


Issued: April 10, 2013
Link to full audit report 2012-S-77

Purpose
To determine whether the use of travel monies by selected government employees complied with rules and regulations and is free from fraud, waste and abuse.  The audit covers the period April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011.

Background
New York State’s executive agencies spend between $100 million and $150 million each year on travel expenses.  These expenses, which are discretionary and under the control of agency management, include car rentals, meals, lodging, transportation, fuel, and incidental costs such as airline baggage and travel agency fees.  As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, we audited travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the State as well as other outliers. These employees each incurred over $100,000 in travel expenses during the three year period ending March 31, 2011. Ten of these employees worked at the New York State Department of Financial Services (Department) and had travel costs totaling $1,248,144. We also audited other travel expenses that we identified as outliers in our planning analysis, including 17 employees with outliers in lodging, meals, rental cars, air fare, train, large negative adjustment, fuel and miscellaneous travel that totaled $627,902. In total, we examined $1,876,046 of the Department’s travel payments.

Key Findings

We were only able to audit two of the three years of travel expenditures totaling $1,876,046 because the Department was not required to and did not maintain records prior to April 2009.  The travel expenses for the 27 Department employees selected for audit were documented and adhered to State travel rules and regulations.  Most of the employees (22) were either insurance or bank examiners; while 3 employees were executive managers and the remaining 2 employees were administrative staff.  The majority of travel expenses for the 27 Department employees included lodging, airfare, train fare, fuel charges and meal reimbursements.

Key Recommendation

  • None

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

State University of New York College at New Paltz: Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-140)
State University of New York Alfred State College of Technology: Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-142)
State University of New York College at Cobleskill – Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-143)
State University of New York College at Oneonta – Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-145)
State University of New York College at Purchase: Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-149)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236