Department Of Justice: Executives' Use of Aircraft for Nonmission Purposes

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal years 2007 through 2011, three individuals who served as Attorney General (AG) and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accounted for 95 percent (659 out of 697 flights) of all Department of Justice (DOJ) executive nonmission flights using DOJ aircraft at a total cost of $11.4 million. Specifically, the AG and FBI Director collectively took 74 percent (490 out of 659) of all of their flights for business purposes, such as conferences, meetings, and field office visits; 24 percent (158 out ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 26, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal years 2007 through 2011, three individuals who served as Attorney General (AG) and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accounted for 95 percent (659 out of 697 flights) of all Department of Justice (DOJ) executive nonmission flights using DOJ aircraft at a total cost of $11.4 million. Specifically, the AG and FBI Director collectively took 74 percent (490 out of 659) of all of their flights for business purposes, such as conferences, meetings, and field office visits; 24 percent (158 out of 659) for personal reasons; and 2 percent (11 out of 659) for a combination of business and personal reasons. All AGs and FBI Directors are "required use" travelers who are required by executive branch policy to use government aircraft for all their travel, including travel for personal reasons, because of security and communications needs. However, according to DOJ officials, while the AG has historically been required to use government aircraft for all types of travel, including personal travel, the FBI Director had, until 2011, the discretion to use commercial air service for his personal travel. DOJ officials told us this explains the AG's greater use of DOJ aircraft for personal reasons than the FBI Director. According to DOJ and FBI flight data we reviewed, all AGs and the FBI Director provided reimbursements for their personal travel in accordance with federal requirements. The FBI also conducts flights from a covert facility to Ronald Reagan National Airport to position aircraft to transport the AG and the FBI Director. Specifically, $1.5 million of the $11.4 million for 659 AG and FBI Director flights from fiscal years 2007 through 2011 was used to fly aircraft from this facility to Ronald Reagan National Airport prior to transporting these officials to their destinations. According to the FBI, these positioning flights are necessary because, among other things, the location where the FBI maintains the aircraft is an unmarked covert facility, and at times, the FBI initiates sensitive flight operations from this site."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 26, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Department Of Justice: Executives' Use of Aircraft for Nonmission Purposes, report, February 26, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299802/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.