4/7/15 Accountability


In 2013, an internal audit found irregularities totaling $200,000 in the expense reports of Polycom CEO Andrew Miller.  He immediately resigned from the company.

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Miller with fraud.  And Polycom agreed to pay a $750,000 fine.

This is an example of accountability.  Accountability to the company, to the shareholders, and compliance with government regulations.

Here’s a contrast.

My computer map program says it’s about 150 miles between the Veterans Administration headquarters in Washington, DC and the V.A. regional office in Philadelphia.  About a three-hour drive.

A whistleblower reported the Veterans Administration doled out nearly $300,000 to V.A. executive Diana Rubens to cover her transfer expenses from the DC office to Philadelphia.

Two-hundred and eighty-eight thousand and change to be more precise.
Federal regulations allow for reimbursement of reasonable relocation expenses such as house hunting trips, temporary lodging, and transportation and storage of belongings.

According to a published report, such reimbursement is typically in the 12 to 13,000-dollar range.  Rubens was reimbursed more than 20 times the normal amount.

This is 100,000-dollars more than her yearly base salary [and here].

The V.A. claims all expenses Rubens was reimbursed were appropriate.
Some view the quarter-million dollar amount as excessive.

Florida Congressman Jeff Miller has asked the VA inspector general to investigate.

[Here is the V.A. Inspector General’s response to Miller’s letter.]

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