Home / US / Ex-health secretary Tom Price wasted $ 341,000 on unsuitable travel, inquiry found

Ex-health secretary Tom Price wasted $ 341,000 on unsuitable travel, inquiry found

For many of the trips there was no evidence that Mr. Price and his team "considered the availability of commercial flights", says the report. Aides to Mr. Price said he was sometimes worried about his safety and safety on commercial flights, but the inspector general said members of his security detail could be seated near him.

Even when using chartered aircraft, the report said Mr Price and his team did not always choose the cheapest options. For example, they could have obtained a charter flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C., for $ 75,800, instead of the $ 121,500 government paid. Mr. Prices Mrs. Betty, accompanied him on that flight, and he replaced the government for the cost of his seat, but not for her, said the report.

The health secretary's office said that the cheaper charter plan was not chosen because they were not "considered to be an effective safe option for the mission".

For an international trip, Mr Price and his assistants used "military aircraft but also paid for a commercial flight for the same trip," the report said. The government paid USD 11,584 for unused tickets on commercial flights and received only a refund after the researchers discovered the mixture, told the report.

As an example of waste, Levinson pointed at $ 36,300 on a three-day trip to San Diego; Aspen, Colo .; and Salt Lake City which included "just 3.5 hours of official commitment". He said the government would try to recover funds, as well as $ 12,300 spent on a charter flight that took Mr Price from Raleigh, NC, to Brunswick, Ga. , so that he could "participate in an event in personal capabilities".

The Trump Administration officials said they had taken measures to improve compliance with federal travel rules.

Before traveling, political staff at the Department of Health and Human Services had to fill in a questionnaire to be reviewed by ethical officials. Travelers must provide a "detailed statement" for the use of military or chartered aircraft and must explain how the journey will promote the government's mission.

On the day of Mr Price's departure, Mr Trump's Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent a memorandum to the heads of federal authorities saying that "with few exceptions, the commercial air system used by millions of Americans is everyday, even for very high officials".

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