Today, State Auditor Hector Balderas sent a letter to New Mexico's state agencies outlining proper uses of travel, per diem and gas card compensations.
Balderas' advisory letter comes just weeks after SFR reported how Department of Health Chief Deputy Secretary charged state taxpayers $30,000—on top of his $115,000 salary—for commuting from his home in Roswell to work during the week in Santa Fe.
The letter also comes on the heels of an upcoming SFR report detailing how two more upper level DOH employees—Chief Medical Officer Richard Adams and Chief Nursing Officer Gayle Nash—also charged taxpayers a combined $34,000 in travel and lodging expenses over the past year, all on top of their $170,000 and $132,000 salaries.
"Recent incidents compel me to communicate directly with New Mexico state agencies regarding weakness in internal controls related to travel and per diem and gas card card expenditures," Balderas writes in the advisory letter. "The purpose of this risk advisory is to inform you of the risks pertaining to these types of expenditures and the related responsibilities of agency management and their independent public accountants."
Balderas letter continues:
"The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) strongly encourages management and administrators of agencies to review their internal controls over travel and per diem and gas cards to ensure compliance with state law and regulations, and in order to reduce the risk of waste, fraud and abuse."
Check back at sfreporter.com later tonight for more on how certain high level state employees are enjoying lavish travel and lodging payments at taxpayers' expense.
Read the state auditor's advisory letter here: