Audit Reports

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Third Interim Report on Travel Policies and Practices of Political Appointees

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The Office of Inspector General initiated a Departmentwide review of policies and practices regarding political activities and travel by Department of Transportation (DOT) employees. This letter is our third interim response to a congressional request.

On May 1, 2000, our initial response included complete answers to four of your seven questions. The four questions requested: (1) DOT's policies and guidelines regarding political activity by employees; (2) the process within DOT to review claims for official travel; (3) DOT policy on combining official travel with political travel; and (4) a description of the systems in place to ensure that employees are abiding by the Hatch Act. The policies and procedures did not change since May 1, so no updated information is necessary.

On July 14, 2000, our second interim response provided complete answers to the remaining three questions concerning political travel and campaigning between April 1, 1998, and May 31, 2000. The three questions requested: (1) the number of trips taken by DOT employees or officials involving a mix of official and political travel; (2) whether any staff, including but not limited to protective details or advance personnel, have accompanied political appointees on travel involving a political component; and (3) how much time those employees who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate spent campaigning over the last 2 years. This response provides answers to the same three questions covering the period June 1, 2000, through July 31, 2000.