Brown orders California agencies to tighten policies on salary, travel advances

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California Governor Jerry Brown speaks to reporters as he announces his proposed budget at the California State Capitol on January 10, 2011 in Sacramento, California.

Governor Jerry Brown has ordered state agencies to tighten their policies on employee salary and travel advances. Some fail to account for the money and that's cost the state millions of dollars.

Audits by the state controller found that some state agencies and departments fail to account for how employees spent travel advances. They also didn't deduct salary advances from the employee’s next paycheck.

That’s like giving money away and Governor Brown says it's got to stop. He's issued an executive order directing agencies and departments to file claims for salary advances within 30 days or deduct the funds from the employee’s next paycheck.

Spokesman Evan Westrup says an audit of the Department of Corrections will likely turn up more uncollected debts.

"These are common sense measure to ensure that outstanding debts are collected," says Westrup. "Our focus is on stopping the bleeding and ensuring that moving forward state agencies and departments have the checks and balances in order and the followthrough needed to ensure no more money is lost."

The state's not allowed to force employees to pay back advances issued more than three years ago, but state employees can volunteer to return the money.

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