To address the improper acts we identified, the university should collect $1,802 from the official for the wasteful expenses he claimed for lodging and meals during his trip to England, the expenses he incurred within the vicinity of his headquarters, and the business meal expenses.
The university's position on this recommendation has not changed.
As stated previously, the university's position on this recommendation remains unchanged.
The university's position on this recommendation continues to remain unchanged.
The university's position on this recommendation has remained unchanged since its November 2013 update.
After performing an additional review with university staff of the expenses we determined to be wasteful, we concluded that $154 of the total was proper for payment, leaving $1,638 as the amount we are recommending the university collect from the official. The university collected $342 of that amount in May 2011. The university subsequently received an additional $396 from the official, but this amount was unrelated to the recommendation. Accordingly, the university still must collect $1,296 from the official to implement this recommendation fully.
However, in March 2013 the university advised us that it would not make any further effort to collect from the official the remaining $1,296 that he received in improper expense payments because the official no longer is employed by the university. In November 2013, the university reiterated its position that it would not pursue collection of the expense payments because it now views the payments to have been proper according to university policies and practices in effect at the time the payments were made. In addition, the university determined that its process for approving reimbursemts was flawed at the time the official received expense reimbursements for business meals, lodging costs, and expenses incurred within the vicinity of his headquarters.
With specific regard to the reimbursed expenses the official incurred within the vicinity of his headquarters, the university stated that it frequently grants exceptions to the rule prohibiting reimbursement for lodging expenses within the vicinity of headquarters when an employee participates in meetings or other business activities near headquarters that run late into the evening and resume early the following morning. The university concluded that these same circumstances held true regarding the official's expenses within the vicinity of his headquarters and opined that it would have been unsafe and unfair not to pay for the official's overnight lodging, as failing to do so would have required him to secure lodging at his own expense or drive up to 80 miles late at night to return to his home and then return the next morning. However, as it was the the official's choice to live 80 miles from his headquarters, accommodating that choice by providing lodging for the official in the vicinity of his headquarters was not the responsibility of the university and, therefore, constituted a waste of state resouces.
The university reported that it has notified the official of the expenses to be collected. In May 2011, the official reimbursed the university $738 for expenses incurred in England as well as other expenses. The university reported the official is obligated to pay the balance before he leaves the university in December 2012. (See 2013-406, p. 291)