4/8/14 Misusing Aircraft


The federal government has 1,700 aircraft for use by officials to conduct official business.  Federal law is ironclad. Aircraft are not for personal use.

The General Services Administration is responsible for monitoring all government aircraft use.  Now, the Government Accountability Office reports that federal officials have not been fully reporting to the GSA aircraft used for personal travel.

In fiscal years 2009 through 2011, Attorney-General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller and other presidential appointees used government aircraft nearly 400 times for personal travel and other non-mission related trips.

395 times taxpayers footed the bill — at nearly $8 million just in aircraft operating costs so Holder, Mueller and others could go on vacation.  Or whatever improper reason they chose.  This doesn’t even include figures for 2012, 2013 and this year.

According to the GSA, this may be a rampant problem as several agencies are not fully reporting aircraft use.

Consider this.  According to federal law and federal regulations, an employee who is assigned a government car may only drive it between home and work.  And in the performance of their duties. Personal use such as picking up the kids from daycare on the way home from work warrants a mandatory 30-day suspension.

But presidential appointees use Gulfstream executive jets and other aircraft for personal travel without repercussion.

[Attorney-General Eric Holder attempted to defend his use of government aircraft in a Congressional hearing.  He also disputed the numbers but admitted inappropriate use of government aircraft on 31 occasions — 27 for personal trips.]

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