Millions of dollars advanced to California state employees have yet to be re-payed to government agencies, according to BusinessWeek.
The news source reports that California gives salary and travel advances to state workers under special circumstances, such as when an employee is leaving state service and needs a final check, makes a hardship request or travels. However, audits by the state controller's office in 2009 found that $13.3 million in advances had not been paid back to 11 different agencies. "It's shocking that the state has apparently failed to collect millions of dollars in salary and travel advances owed by state employees," Jerry Brown, governor of California, said in a statement. "This situation reinforces the worst stereotype of ineffective and inefficient government." The media outlet adds that the longer the debt goes uncollected, the more likely it is that it will not be recovered. Inside Bay Area points out that the Department of Transportation is owed the most, with more than $3.2 million unpaid, followed by $2.6 owed to the California Highway Patrol, $2.2 million to the Department of Mental Health and $1.44 to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. If the debt has gone three years without repayment, it becomes uncorrectable, the new source notes.