Morristown Utility adopts new travel, meal policy following 6 Ne

Morristown Utility adopts new travel, meal policy following 6 News investigation

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Morristown Utility Systems has officially adopted new policies regarding travel and meal expenses. Morristown Utility Systems has officially adopted new policies regarding travel and meal expenses.
MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Morristown Utility Systems has officially adopted new policies regarding travel and meal expenses.

The board approved changes at their monthly board meeting Thursday. The changes stemmed from a 6 News investigation into the finances at the utility company where we discovered thousands of dollars were spent on expensive meals and travel. 

Related coverage: 6 Investigates Questionable Spending by Morristown Utility Systems

The utility company heard both complaints and support about how they were spending money.

Morristown resident Chris Kinbraugh watched our stories on MUS and was shocked by our findings.

“It really upset me a lot because there are a lot of people in this town that need that money,” she said.

While managers and board members at MUS continue to defend their expenses, they said these changes were recommended by their auditor.

“We’re not admitting we did anything wrong, but you're always wanting to get better if there's a better way, and we feel this is the better way to control our costs on travel and entertainment,” said board chairman George McGuffin at Thursday’s meeting.

The changes center around the way money is spent while traveling.

“We're recommending a revision to the travel policy to more accurately reflect our practices. for meal expenses, removing from individual receipts and moving to a per diem basis,” explained CEO Jody Wigington to the board.

The per diem rates will depend on the city, based on GSA approved rates.

The new policy will also prohibit non-employees from charging travel arrangements to the company card. A practice we found happened quite often, although they were always reimbursed according to our investigation.

Customers and residents are happy to see change come from their concerns.

“That’s great, everyone needs to make changes for the better and if they do that than I'm for them,” said Kinbraugh.

The board also adopted a new policy regarding open records requests. The original policy was adopted in 2004 and the changes will make it more consistent with state statutes passed in 2008.

Previous story: Morristown Utility Systems CEO recommends review of employee expenses

During the board's May meeting they also discussed possible changes to their end of the year banquets but no proposal was put before the board.


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