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IG report: Former-HHS Sec. Tom Price wasted at least $341,000 on travel

Former-U.S. Heath and Human Services Secretary Tom Price participates in an event to promote the flu vaccine at the National Press Club September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. An IG report accused Price of wasting $341,000 on travel expenses during his time as HHS secretary. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A 58-page report from the Health and Human Services office of inspector general accused former HHS Secretary Tom Price of wasting $341,ooo in travel expenses during his time in the administration. Price resigned from HHS on Sept. 29, following allegations that he had misused government funds.

Here's what you need to know

The report examined Price's use of private aircraft during this time as secretary.

HHS spokesperson Tesia Williams said in a statement:

Our rigorous review of former HHS Secretary Price’s use of chartered, military, and commercial aircraft found that 20 out of 21 trips did not comply with applicable federal regulations and HHS policies and procedures, resulting in waste of at least $341,000 in federal funds.

Only one of the 21 trips that the inspector general analyzed was found to have followed “all applicable Federal requirements.”

The inspector general's report recommends "that the Office of the Secretary review the lack of compliance with Federal requirements, and based on the review, determine appropriate administrative actions to recoup (1) $333,014 related to the authorization and use of chartered aircraft; (2) $4,926 related to travel that started or ended in locations other than the official duty station; and (3) $2,960 related to other excess travel costs."

It also found that Price did not repay the government for at least one trip taken by his wife. According to the IG, cost comparison analysis was not carried out before flights, authorization was not completed until during or after trips, and trips were taken to places that were not official "duty stations." For example, Price included his home state of Georgia in six official trips, even though his duty station was in Washington, D.C.

The total cost of all travel for these 21 trips was $1.2 million. To get the $341,000 number, the IG looked at the cost of chartered aircraft, the average commercial cost for the same flight, and to what extent Price ever reimbursed the department for his travel. The inspector general also analyzed each trip to see whether or it would have been feasible for Price to use commercial air travel.

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