Top Justice Officials Toed Rules on Private Use of Jets

AINalerts » March 5, 2013
March 5, 2013, 6:18 PM

A performance audit conducted from March 2012 through February 2013 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the U.S. Attorneys General (AGs) and the FBI director reimbursed the federal government for their personal travel in government aircraft in accordance with federal requirements. The study was requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chairman of the House subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations.

Under federal rules, 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 Department of Justice (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.

From Fiscal Years 2007 through 2011, the GAO said the AGs and the FBI director accounted for 95 percent (659 out of 697 flights) of all DOJ executive flights using DOJ aircraft at a total cost of $11.4 million. According to the GAO, 74 percent of these 659 flights were for business purposes; 24 percent were for personal reasons; and 2 percent were for both business and personal reasons.

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Scott
on March 6, 2013 - 3:20pm

Does the president also reimburse for his and his families personal travel? I can only imagine what a 747 round trip for a vacation to Hawaii costs.

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Douglas Manuel
on March 6, 2013 - 5:06pm

The article indicated a requirement for certain folks to use government aircraft, for security reasons. Does that mean they lack confidence in the very security system that is tasked to protect the general flying public and is getting glowing accolades on it's effectiveness? Just wondering. Didn't I see an article where the British Prime Minister and various members of the Royal family fly on commercial carriers?

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herb jacobs
on March 6, 2013 - 8:26pm

Total waste. When Pres Clinton went to England, took two jets, 400 other people and all sorts of autos etc. Cost millions.
When the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Minister of England came to D.C to visit Clinton, both took commercial aviation. The Chancellor came with five, yes five helpers. The Prime Minister came alone, and took a cab to the White House.
We have got a royal screwing with these aristocrats.

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Ernie Ganas
on March 6, 2013 - 8:59pm

Who ever gave you the information on the Btitish PM was definately BS'ng you and I'm pretty sure the same is true of the Chancellor. Having been stationed in the DC area for a number of years I can tell you Heads of States don't travel alone and they don't call a cab. I have watched too many police escorted convoy going to and from Andrews

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