State government agencies spent more than half a million dollars on plane tickets that were never used between July 2011 and December 2013, according to the state Office of the Inspector General.
The tickets span 112 state agencies, and some travelers had multiple expired tickets, the Inspector General revealed in a report on its investigation into the issue Friday.
The Inspector General makes several recommendations, urging the Office of State Travel to consider requiring all state agencies submit explanations for why the taxpayer funded tickets go unused.
“If a ticket is unused due to a reason not approved by the agency’s department head, a determination should be made as to whether the traveler responsible for causing the ticket to go unused should reimburse the state for the cost of the ticket,” the report recommends.
It also urges travelers and travel schedulers to be more mindful of using the tickets for other flights before they expire.
The $544,658 found by the Inspector General for that two-and-a-half year period comes after a 2010 report that noted the same problem in state government.
The July 2010 report showed that between 2006 and 2010, state agencies had allowed $230,000 in airline tickets to expire.