An internal audit at the University of the District of Columbia finds President Allen Sessoms remiss in submitting travel expenses and the governing board lax in reviewing them, according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post.
The preliminary audit was delivered to UDC trustees today. Trustees requested the audit following revelations by a television station of alleged overspending by Sessoms, including first-class airfare and thousand-dollar tickets to nearby destinations. An informal survey in this blog found Sessoms essentially alone in routinely traveling first-class.
“The Office of the President did not submit semi-annual travel budgets for approval and quarterly expense reports to the executive committee of the Board for review for FY 2009 and 2010,” said auditor Saraiya Krishna in the report. The audit “noted there are no internal written procedures and guidelines relating to Business Travel and Entertainment.”
According to the report, the auditor found Sessoms filed incomplete or inaccurate travel authorization forms, failed to provide receipts and used a corporate American Express card for personal expenses and family travel.
Sessoms has said all his travel was legitimate and properly receipted; he has said he repaid the university for any personal expenses.
UDC spokesman Alan Etter confirmed that the audit found “deficiencies in how the university keeps track of expenses, receipts and reimbursement requests. This is an ongoing problem, not only for UDC but for the city government in general.”
Etter said the university has invested in a new record-keeping system that will come online in fall, allowing for direct electronic posting of receipts, expenses and reimbursement.
The audit itself, Etter said, will be released later this week.
Staff writer Mike DeBonis contributed to this posting.
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