The institute should ensure that it follows its newly revised policies that address some of the concerns raised in our audit. The institute also should amend its policies further to include the rest of the concerns we have raised. Those concerns are as follows:
• Although the institute now monitors staff members who attend its meetings, it should implement a preapproval requirement for travelers who want to claim meals separately.
• The institute should revise its travel reimbursement claim form for working groups to require sufficient information that would allow an adequate review of amounts claimed.
• The committee should adopt a travel reimbursement policy for its members that will result in the reimbursement of reasonable and necessary travel expenses, as stated in the act, and that addresses the concerns we raised in the report.
The institute reports that under its policy and practice, employees are not reimbursed for meals at meetings where meals are provided without prior authorization. The institute reports that it monitors the travel claims of staff who attend meetings to ensure that reimbursement is not claimed when the institute provides a meal.
The institute states that as of March 1, 2007, it uses the standard state travel claim form to process claims for all members of working groups. The institute reviews and allows these claims in accordance with the same policy and procedure applicable to institute employees.
At its January 2008 meeting, the committee amended the travel policy previously adopted for institute employees and working group members to apply to committee members. The institute reports that the committee adopted other amendments at the meeting that were designed to align institute policy more closely to that of the University of California regents. The institute adds that deviations from that policy were adopted when the policy did not address the requirements of the institute's mission or did not make sense in the context of the institute's organization. (See 2009-406, p. 235)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.