Unsubstantiated DOE Travel Payments

RCED-96-58R: Published: Dec 28, 1995. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Department of Energy (DOE) expenditures for selected foreign trips. GAO noted that: (1) DOE has not established written procedures that specify the types of records to be kept or the process to follow in obtaining U.S. embassies' support for foreign travel; (2) DOE cannot substantiate all U.S. embassy travel payments made on the behalf of DOE employees because supporting documentation is often missing or incomplete; (3) DOE has changed the source of funding for security expenses related to the Secretary's foreign travel without informing Congress of the change; (4) DOE has increased its efforts to obtain supporting documentation for travel expenses from the embassies and has discussed with the Department of State the need for better documentation and additional accounting services for future trade missions; (5) DOE has begun developing revised procedures to be incorporated into its manuals on foreign travel; and (6) Congress has specified through the fiscal year 1996 DOE appropriation which appropriation account DOE should use for security travel costs and has required DOE to submit semiannual reports on the Secretary's foreign travel.

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