The WSJ has this
Members of Congress said Thursday that details of their expense claims wouldn't be posted online before mid-November at the earliest -- two and a half months later than the deadline previously set for publishing them in an electronic format for the first time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the House Chief Administrative Officer to put information about expenses claimed by members of the House on the Internet "at the earliest date," in an announcement reversing a longstanding policy of providing the information only in books totaling about 12,000 pages a year. The chief administrative officer, a congressional employee, set an Aug. 31 deadline. The Senate hasn't announced any plans to put its expenses claims online.
The announcement last month followed a series of Wall Street Journal articles on bonus payments and expense claims for luxury cars and high-end technology made by congressional offices. . . .
According to another article in the WSJ, the costs that are being report are much lower than the true costs.
The travel-disclosure form the Pennsylvania Democrat filed for the trip reported the seven-country tour with his wife, an aide and two military officials on a private military jet cost $571 a person, or a total of about $2,800.
The real cost was far higher, in excess of $70,000, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis
Mr. Specter's travel report is one of scores of examples of the gap between the expenditures congressional delegations are required to report and what the trips actually cost taxpayers.
A Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records shows that lawmakers disclosed spending about $13 million in 2008 on overseas congressional delegations, or codels. That is nearly a tenfold increase since 1995, the analysis shows.
But the total tab disclosed by Congress is only a fraction of the true cost to taxpayers, according to the Journal's analysis.
Under a 1970s law that authorizes taxpayer-funded codels, lawmakers only must disclose how much they spent on lodging, meals, ground transportation and other incidental expenses. Members of Congress also must make public their spending on commercial airfare, though most lawmakers fly on military planes, which don't have to be disclosed.
Mr. Specter's disclosure form reports that he spent $1,103 for food and accommodations. The aide that accompanied him spent $1,750, according to the disclosure form. The cost of food, hotels and transportation for the two military officials was not disclosed.
Kate Kelly, a spokeswoman for Mr. Specter, said her boss "meticulously complies with Senate reporting requirements, reimburses the Treasury with unused per diem, and customarily files an extensive trip report describing the substance of his meetings with foreign officials." She added that the cost of codels is a "good investment considering the insights gained on billions of dollars of foreign aid." . . .
Labels: Congress, Corruption