Ousted HHS Secretary Price wasted $341K on travel, fed probe reveals

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Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, violated federal travel rules 20 times, wasting at least $341,000 in taxpayer money, according to an inspector general report released July 13.

The blistering 58-page report, which comes about 10 months after Dr. Price resigned from the post, found that he spent more than $1.2 million on travel during his tenure at HHS.

Daniel Levinson, the inspector general of HHS, examined 21 trips in which Dr. Price used chartered aircraft, military aircraft or commercial aircraft. The report found that 20 of the 21 flights violated federal travel requirements, including all 12 chartered aircraft trips.

"Noncompliance related to use of chartered aircraft included not completing a cost comparison to commercial airline service, not adhering to contract requirements and not properly authorizing the use of chartered aircraft," the report reads.

The report also found issues of noncompliance related to travel records for Dr. Price, including insufficient review of authorizations and vouchers and many employee's failure to complete required travel card training.

The Office of Inspector General is recommending the government recoup the money the former secretary improperly spent on his travels to various places, including Florida, California, Colorado, China, Vietnam and Japan.

Dr. Price was forced to resign Sept. 29, 2017, as criticism mounted about his extensive use of taxpayer-funded flights.

Read the full inspector general report here.

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