State University of New York at Stony Brook


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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State University of New York at Stony Brook
Selected Employee Travel Expenses

Issued: July 10, 2013
Link to full audit report 2012-S-102


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, 2008 through March 31, 2011.

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. As a result of this analysis, we examined the travel costs of eight University employees whose expenses exceeded $100,000 or had outliers in the area of train fare. In total, we examined $1,313,845 in travel costs associated with these eight employees.

Key Findings

  • Most of the expenses we examined were appropriate. However, two employees had charges totaling $2,529, that were either not for legitimate business purposes or lacked adequate assurance that the charge was solely for legitimate business purposes.

Key Recommendations

  • Determine the legitimacy of the $1,629 in internet charges and take steps, as appropriate, to recoup the charges from the vendor or the employee.
  • Maintain appropriate documentation for the use of rental vehicles to ensure that reimbursement is only made for State business use.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

State University of New York College at Cobleskill – Selected Employee Travel Expenses Report 2012-S-143
SUNY College at Oneonta: Selected Employee Travel Expenses Report 2012-S-145

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Assistant Comptroller: Jerry Barber
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236