Statement of George Stephanopoulos May 21, 1993
Effective Monday, May 24, 1993, World Wide Travel Service, Inc. will no longer serve as the interim out-service travel unit for the White House Travel Office.
The services now being provided by World Wide will be rendered instead by a vendor approved by the General Services Administration. The American Express Travel Office will be the agency providing travel services.
The responsibilities of the White House Travel Office are primarily to provide arrangements for the White House press corps which accompanies the President of the United States when he travels.
World Wide Travel Service Inc. was selected on an interim basis by the White House to provide commercial travel services in lieu of those formerly provided by the White House Travel Office. The Travel Office employees were dismissed after problems of financial mismanagement and sloppy record keeping were reported to the White House Office of Administration. The monies involved in the mismanagement largely consisted of funds paid to the office by the news media for travel reimbursements.
World Wide Travel Services Inc. performed reliably and effectively for the Clinton Presidential Campaign in 1992, and had agreed to provide travel services to the White House on an interim basis, following which a competitive bidding process for a permanent vendor would take place. World Wide Travel Services Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn from providing further service to the White House.
By conducting an internal review, by bringing in both an accounting firm and the FBI, the White House has dealt with the reality of travel office mismanagement. World Wide's decision to withdraw should end any possible perception that their selection to provide interim White House services was based on a prior personal or business relationship with members of the campaign staff who now work at the White House. We nonetheless appreciate the willingness of World Wide to step into the breach when it was necessary to terminate the employees of the White House Travel Office.
This decision follows an exhaustive White House effort to reform and reorganize the White House Travel Office as a consequence of the financial mismanagement exposed by an internal review and an external report conducted by the accounting firm of KMPG Peat Marwick. The evidence supporting allegations of mismanagement was deemed sufficient today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to warrant further criminal investigation.