New SANDAG policies clear first vote, headed to full board

New policies aimed at curbing staff spending in the San Diego Union of Governments are now being addressed to the agency’s full council for approval.

The SANDAG audit committee approved it unanimously young rules at its meeting on Friday that would require more paperwork for credit card purchases and would set limits on business meals.

Because that matters

As a regional planning agency, the San Diego Union of Governments uses a taxpayer-funded budget of more than $ 1 billion to make long-term decisions on major transportation and infrastructure projects.

The proposals come after an internal audit that identified “disputed” and “inappropriate” expenditure and follows inewsource a report that found that some of the highest paid executives in the organization met regularly in the luxury restaurants.

Under the new policies, only CEO Hasan Ikhrata will be allowed to use an agency credit card for business meals. This is despite being one of SANDAG’s biggest spenders, with $ 17,000 spent on restaurants in just two years.

Committee members initially expressed concern about whether spending limits would be high enough for business meals – in San Diego, for example, they could not spend more than $ 34 per person for dinner – but eventually passed the policy unchanged.

The full SANDAG board is expected to take a final vote at its meeting on June 24.

Staff are still examining any “cases of improper use” of credit cards, gift shopping and business meal charges, as well as tax compliance issues as a result of expenses. Deputy Chief Executive Officer Coleen Clementson said Friday that any remedial action, such as raising funds from employees, will be completed by mid-July.

Mary Khoshmashrab, SANDAG’s independent performance auditor, said her office plans to conduct an ongoing audit over the next financial year to see if the new policies will be followed.

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Jennifer Bowman is an inewsource investigative reporter covering Imperial County and South Bay. Covered inewsource training. She is happy to be back in her hometown after working in the dailies in Michigan and North Carolina. To the Asheville Citizen Times, …
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New SANDAG policies clear first vote, headed to full board Source link New SANDAG policies clear first vote, headed to full board

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