Staff at one county council claimed mileage for making repeated journeys to the same location on the very same day, made claims based on inaccurate distances, and declared starting or destination locations that wrongly bumped up their expense payments.
An internal audit of travel and subsistence claims at Donegal County Council found just 28 of 120 claims had been completed fully and accurately.
Under Revenue rules, civil servants are supposed to declare the shortest route for their journey using either their home address or their workplace, whichever of them is closest to where they are going.
However, the audit found that in at least 27 cases from the 120 claims examined, staff members had declared the longer distance for mileage purposes.
In other cases, staff were found to be making multiple trips to the same location on the same day, or travelling to the same area of the county on consecutive days.
Employees also claimed subsistence payments for journeys close by their office or that were on their way to and from the office.
In one case, a staff member photocopied the exact same set of journeys for their expense claims and submitted it each month.
“This does not constitute ‘vouched expenses’ in Internal Audit’s opinion,” said the report.
These records were released to Right to Know following a decision of the Information Commissioner that Donegal County Council could not charge significant fees (read that decision here)