Delaware legislative committee asks Chip Flowers about Alaska trip

Delaware Treasurer Chip Flowers continues to answer questions regarding his travel expenses after reports that he misused funds during a business trip to Alaska last year.

Flowers went before the Office of Management and Budget Tuesday to discuss his FY 2015 budget requests. Flowers asked for an increase of just $15,000 to the state’s treasury budget.

However, OMB heads seemed more concerned with the travel policy that Treasurer Flowers claims is the way his department operates.

OMB Director Ann Visalli said she wants to see that specific travel policy.

“To my knowledge there’s one state travel policy and there’s a process for exceptions to it,” said Visalli. “Obviously, often times anyone familiar with the federal per diem knows it doesn’t accommodate much, but I’m not aware of other individual state policies,” she added.

She said the rule is, anyone exceeding per diem is required to get approval from OMB.

Treasurer Flowers said he would fulfill the request and said the state’s travel policy needs to be clarified and that the “whole system needs to be reformed.”

Last week, Flowers released the documents of the Alaska trip and said he would reimburse the state $876.05 for the trip as well as another business trip to Seattle to avoid “future confusion.”

Now that he has produced his travel documents, Flowers said he’d like to see more elected officials publicly display theirs.

“I hope the administration will join us in disclosing all the travel documents and showing where everyone is eating and everyone is sleeping,” he said. “I think that what we’ve done is to try and be as open and transparent as possible.”

Flowers and OMB also butted heads on the state’s investment portfolio. While Treasurer Flowers said he’s proud of the fact the portfolio has grown to approximately $40 million, OMB questioned why dividends and interest revenue are only at $6.3 million.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.