WASHINGTON — Army auditors say the Corps of Engineers should sell its aircraft because the corps' brass is misusing them for expensive globe-trotting.
The three planes, one a Washington-based 14-passenger jet, are used most of the time to go to meetings and conferences, and sometimes the spouses of corps officials improperly go along at taxpayers' expense, the auditors say.
"Virtually all of the flights were for routine matters and could have been accomplished with commercial aircraft," the Army Audit Agency said in a report released by Rep. Mike Synar (D-Okla.).
"The corps should sell the aircraft and use commercial transportation," the auditors said. They estimated that selling the planes would save taxpayers $6.4 million.
The planes belong to the corps' civil division, which builds water projects in this country and advises other nations on development. The report said they were justified to Congress as necessary for use in emergencies and for visiting remote project sites.