Burgum Air: Governor’s Use of Private Planes at Taxpayer Expense Raises Auditor’s Eyebrows

State Auditor chastises the Governor for jet-setting on North Dakotans’ dime, using government planes for “commuting” and carrying “non-state employees without a business purpose”

(BISMARCK, ND) — Governor Doug Burgum is in hot water with North Dakota’s State Auditor over improper use of state aircraft. The report cites the Burgum and Dalrymple administrations for violations including using the planes for personal commuting, carrying “non-state employees without a business purpose,” and choosing to fly on the taxpayer’s dime in a private aircraft out of state, even while available commercial flights were cheaper.

The report also advised that the Governor’s office submit Request for Air Transportation forms to the business purpose of each trip could be established, an oversight that is used for every other government agency using state aircraft. But the Governor pushed back in the report, insisting that it is one rule for him and a different rule for everyone else.

“Unfortunately for everyone concerned with good governance in North Dakota, Governor Burgum has continued to lack transparency and bend the rules to benefit his own convenience at taxpayer expense,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “Instead of jumping on 94 for his trips between Fargo and Bismarck like every other commuter, he’d rather call up personal Uber for the Air and leave taxpayers with the bill. For an elected official who is calling on North Dakota’s K-12 teachers, higher education instructors and administrators, mental health professionals, and first responders to do more with less and proposing massive cuts to the state’s public services, a different standard seems to apply.”