City auditors say Boise should do more training and offer better guidance on how and when employees report their travel expenses.
In a review of 24 work-related trips over the past two fiscal years, the city's Office of Internal Audit found problems with late expense reports, miscalculated per diems and missing documentation. But the city paid no money it shouldn't have, according to the report. In fact, the city underpaid workers by $13.80, said Steve Rehn, the city's director of internal audit.
The office was formed in 2003 after a corruption and travel-spending scandal brought down former Mayor Brent Coles. Coles, his chief of staff and his human resources director each spent time in jail for their roles in the scandal.
No member of the City Council has requested formal action in response to the audit report. So far, managers across city departments have shown they're taking it seriously, council President Maryanne Jordan said.
"They've acknowledged where there are issues, and they've taken steps to fix those," she said.
The report shows that the Office of Internal Audit is doing its job, Jordan said.
"It shows us where policies and procedures need to be tightened or training needs to be reiterated," Jordan said. "And this is a perfect example. While the (issues) are small, you don't want issues identified at all."
In 2002, the last budget year before the office was established, Boise spent nearly $872,800 on travel, Jordan said. Despite an increase in the number of city employees, that figure fell to $471,300 in 2011 and about $600,000 in 2012, according to the auditors' report.
"Clearly, our focus on diligence in terms of what it is that we are deeming appropriate city travel is working," Jordan said.
Sven Berg: 377-6275