(FOX News) — The IRS spent more than $1.4 million on long-term travel for just 27 employees in fiscal 2015, including on high-end car services and luxury apartment and hotel stays, a Senate report has found — with one lawmaker blasting “woefully insufficient efforts” to reduce expenses at the agency.
The Senate Finance Committee report, obtained by FoxNews.com, found that while federal guidelines say employees must exercise the same care in incurring expenses as a “prudent person” traveling on personal business, IRS employees who traveled 125 business days or more racked up an average cost of over $52,000 a year.
The committee found more than half of the long-term travel time was spent in the Washington D.C., area. It found cases of five employees living in hotels, primarily in the capital, for months at a time without looking for lower-cost housing or having their per diem rates reduced as outlined in federal guidelines.
Further, the committee found “the IRS does not routinely or actively seek to reduce per diem rates for employees on long-term travel.”
The generous per diem rate allows employees traveling to Washington to spend up to $7,099 a month on lodging alone, despite the committee seeing “virtually no circumstance” in which an employee would need to spend that much on a month-to-month basis.
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