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Canadian Government Employees Charged Taxpayers Nearly $145,000 In Wrongful Travel Costs Last Year

It was $90,000 more than the year before.

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Public servants racked up nearly $145,000 in unauthorized or fraudulent travel costs this past year — an increase of more than $90,000 from the year before.

According to Public Accounts, released earlier this week, government departments reported 40 cases of faulty travel cost claims in the most recent fiscal year. The total cost of the claims was $143,988.

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*2013 does not include fraudulent travel card costs found in the investigation of one employee at the National Research Council, as only the lump sum of all irregularities found was given.




*2012 includes $63,046 in travel and acquisition card fraud/misuse at Fisheries and Oceans, so the cost of travel card fraud/misuse alone is likely lower.




*2011 includes $9,699 in false/fraudulent travel and overtime claims, as well as $63,714 in one case of fraudulent travel claims and an unreported leave of absence.

Last year, the government reported finding 26 cases of problematic travel claims totaling $53,798.

Of this year's 40 cases, 10 were reported as being fraudulent, meaning the employees involved were purposely dishonest.

Out of all types of cases, Fisheries and Oceans had the most with 17 instances of "unauthorized use of travel card" totaling $27,758.

It's not nearly as high as the 258 cases of "unauthorized or fraudulent use of designated acquisition
or travel card" Fisheries and Oceans reported in 2012, though.

Travel cards are either physical cards or bank accounts public servants can use to book and pay for hotels, food, transportation, and more. The cards are only supposed to be used for authorized work travel, though.

Here's the breakdown for 2015:

Canadian Grain Commission
Fraudulent use of travel card (2 cases): $8,537 ($5,730 recovered)

Citizenship and Immigration
Unauthorized use of travel card (2 cases): $24,567

Environment
Fraudulent use of travel card (1 case): $7,307 ($2,887 recovered)

Parks Canada
Fraudulent travel cost (1 case): $5,000

Employment and Social Development
Fraudulent travel payment (1 case): $5,025

Fisheries and Oceans
Unauthorized use of travel card (17 cases): $27,758 ($8,599 recovered)

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
Fraudulent claim of travel expenses: $663

Health
Fraudulent use of government acquisition and travel card (2 cases): $15,707

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Unauthorized use of travel card (6 cases): $26,698 ($26,381 recovered)

Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Unauthorized use of travel card (1 case): $5,033 ($418 recovered)

Canadian Space Agency
Fraudulent use of travel card (2 cases): $6,243 ($6,243 recovered)

Public Works and Government Services
Unauthorized use of travel card (4 cases): $11,450 ($2,053 recovered)

Emma Loop is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. PGP fingerprint: 4A39 DD99 953C 6CAF D68C 85CD C380 AB23 859B 0611.

Contact Emma Loop at emma.loop@buzzfeed.com.

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