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DOD’s Improper Use of First and Business Class Airline Travel

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Location: Room 342, Dirksen Senate Office Building


Description: Over the past three years, Congressional hearings and reports by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Inspectors General have consistently shown that government-issued travel and purchase cards have been subject to continuing waste, fraud and abuse. A recently completed GAO investigation of premium airline travel by the Department of Defense’s (DOD) employees during fiscal years 2001 and 2002 determined that most first and business class travel was not properly authorized and/or justified. As a result, DOD wasted millions of taxpayer dollars for premium airline tickets. These tickets were purchased with a travel card from a centrally billed account for DOD travelers who should have been flying coach class. According to GAO, this abuse occurred because of weak or nonexistent internal controls within DOD. The purpose of the November 6th hearing was to identify the types of abuse, discuss the causes, determine the magnitude of the problem, and identify what corrective action is required. The hearing objective was to conduct continuing oversight over the use of government-issued travel cards to ensure that expected cost savings are realized.


Panel 1

  • Senator  Charles Grassley
    United States Senate (R-IA)
  • Congresswoman  Janice D. Schakowsky
    United States House of Representatives (D-IL)

Panel 2

  • Gregory D. Kutz
    Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Services
    U. S. Government Accountability Office
    Washington, D.C.
    Download Testimony (352k)
  • Mr.  John Kelly
    Assistant Director, Financial Management and Assurance Team
    U. S. General Accounting Office
    Washington, D.C.
  • Mr.  John J. Ryan
    Assistant Director, Office of Special Investigations
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    Washington, D.C.

Panel 3

  • Lawrence J. Lanzillotta
    Principal Deputy and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Management Reform
    U. S. Department of Defense
    Washington, D.C.
  • Mr.  Charles S. Abell
    Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy)
    U. S. Department of Defense
    Washington, D.C.
    Download Testimony (451k)