Independent Counsel:

Travel by Kenneth W. Starr

AIMD-98-55R: Published: Jan 9, 1998. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 1998.

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David L. Clark, Jr
(202) 512-3000


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed travel reimbursements for independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr for the 6 months ended September 30, 1996, focusing on: (1) detailed information for each reimbursement; and (2) whether each reimbursement complied with federal travel regulations.

GAO noted that: (1) reimbursements for meals and incidentals, transportation, or other related costs during this period were proper; (2) however, Mr. Starr was erroneously reimbursed for some of his lodging costs; (3) the erroneous reimbursements, totalling $9,926, appeared to have been caused by an administrative error in applying federal travel regulations to independent counsels whose primary office is away from their residences and who lease an apartment; (4) GAO found no indication of misrepresentation or that Mr. Starr or his staff were aware that these reimbursements were not allowed under the federal travel regulations; (5) GAO generally determined that criteria for waivers were satisfied where there was no indication of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of the recipient of the erroneous payment; (6) the authority to waive erroneous payment of executive branch employees has been delegated to the agency that made the erroneous payment; and (7) Mr. Starr does not intend to request a waiver and has determined to repay the portion of the cost identified as an erroneous reimbursement.

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