DHS has not fully complied with requirements for reporting of spending on conferences attended by its employees, an IG report has said, saying that the department did not report on 20 conferences over fiscal 2015-2016 that exceeded the $100,000 threshold for annual reporting to the IG’s office.
In most cases it was because the department misread GSA guidance and concluded that the conferences were exempt from reporting requirements because they were for employee training, the report said.
The total cost of those conferences exceeded $3.7 million, said the report, which added that DHS also did not always report to the IG within 15 days as required on all hosted conferences costing more than $20,000. Further, DHS did not always enter actual conference cost data into a reporting system timely or accurately, and in some instances did not have appropriate documentation to support expenses, it said.
DHS reported 433 conferences with total cost of $11.4 million in fiscal year 2014 and 478 totaling $10.4 million in 2015.
The report said, however, that based on nine conferences examined in detail, the department’s conference spending over those two years “appeared appropriate, reasonable, and necessary.” It said that DHS concurred with all five of its recommendations and has already implemented corrective actions.