The White House: Travel Office Operations

GGD-94-132 Published: May 02, 1994. Publicly Released: May 02, 1994.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the White House Travel Office's operations, focusing on: (1) its past operations and oversight; (2) its current operations and the extent to which past problems have been corrected; (3) actions taken in 1993 that led to White House officials' decision to investigate Travel Office operations; and (4) the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) investigations.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Other To further improve the operations of the White House Travel Office, the White House Chief of Staff should direct the Assistant to the President for Management and Administration to prepare complete written guidance for Travel Office staff to better ensure that procedures are implemented properly.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that guides for accounting and advance procedures have been completed and are currently being used by all Travel Office staff.
Other To further improve the operations of the White House Travel Office, the White House Chief of Staff should direct the Assistant to the President for Management and Administration to establish a process to ensure that appropriate oversight and review of Travel Office operations is provided, including an annual financial audit.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that meetings with officials from the Office of Management and Administration are held periodically with the Travel Office Director to provide management and that weekly meetings are held to provide financial oversight. The White House also reports that fieldwork related to the financial audit of trip activity during 1994 has been completed and that similar financial audits will be conducted annually.
Other To further improve the operations of the White House Travel Office, the White House Chief of Staff should direct the Assistant to the President for Management and Administration to give priority to completing other actions that will fully implement systems and procedures consistent with the financial management criteria described in the report.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that it has completed all of the 29 specific financial management criteria contained in the report.
Other To further improve the operations of the White House Travel Office, the White House Chief of Staff should direct the Assistant to the President for Management and Administration to establish a mechanism to validate that the actions taken and promised have been effectively implemented.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that the periodic meetings with officials from the Office of Management and Administration and the Travel Office Director are methods of ensuring that the recommendations have been and will continue to be effectively implemented.
Other To further improve the operations of the White House Travel Office, the White House Chief of Staff should direct the Assistant to the President for Management and Administration to identify the full range of customers involved with the press travel services and periodically determine customer satisfaction with the services provided by the Travel Office.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that meetings between the Travel Office Director and the White House Correspondents' Association are now held at least quarterly to provide feedback on the services provided by the Travel Office.
Other To better ensure that White House access is commensurate with accountability, the White House Chief of Staff should develop policies governing appropriate activities by nongovernment employees granted regular White House access and establish a mechanism for periodically assessing the implementation of those policies.
Closed - Implemented
The White House reports that procedures have been implemented to limit the number of nongovernment employees with White House access passes and that special reporting procedures have been implemented for pass holders who are political advisors or consultants and not regular or special government employees.

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