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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State University of New York
College at Plattsburgh
Selected Employee Travel Expenses

Issued: April 25, 2013
Link to full audit report 2012-S-14
Link to 90-day response

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.

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. The mission of the College at Plattsburgh (College) is to prepare a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students for a wide range of professional pursuits, responsible citizenship, and ethical life based on a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The College spent $2,867,155 on travel expenses from April 1, 2008 through March 31, 2011. Of that amount, $1,311,659, or about 46 percent, was for reimbursements to employees for travel expenses and direct payments to vendors, and the remaining $1,555,496 related to charges on State-issued travel cards. Auditors focused their audit efforts on the highest cost travelers in the State, each of whom incurred over $100,000 in travel expenses during the three-year period, as well as on other outliers. As a result of this analysis, we examined the travel costs of two College employees with outliers in the areas of lodging and fuel. In total, we examined $194,805 in travel costs associated with these two employees.

Key Findings
Most of the expenses we examined were appropriate. However, one faculty member charged the College for $708 in expenses that were not related to official business and used his travel card for $177 of other inappropriate expenses.

Key Recommendation

  • Follow established travel guidelines to ensure appropriate use of the State travel card and reimbursement of travel expenses.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

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