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Taxpayers foot bill for Justice Department’s $16 muffins
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Thumbs down Taxpayers foot bill for Justice Department’s $16 muffins - September 20, 2011, 01:11 PM

Taxpayers foot bill for Justice Department's $16 muffins - Washington Times


Taxpayers foot bill for Justice Department’s $16 muffins

Expenses for conferences ‘extravagant’ since 2007, report says



The Justice Department spent more than $120 million in fiscal 2008 and 2009 to host law enforcement conferences across the country, many of which featured “extravagant and wasteful” costs for food, beverages and event planning, including spending $16 on each of 250 muffins served at an August 2009 legal conference in Washington, D.C., a report said Tuesday.

Acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar, in an audit report that examined taxpayer expenditures incurred by the Justice Department at 10 of 1,832 conferences held during fiscal 2008 and 2009, said investigators also found that another conference featured a lunch that cost $76 per person and coffee costing more than $1 per ounce. Other costly items cited in the report included a $32-per-person snack break consisting of Cracker Jacks, popcorn and candy bars, $7.32 Beef Wellington hors d’oeuvres, $10 cookies and $5 Swedish meatballs.

The numbers are included in a report that examined expenditures incurred by the Justice Department during fiscal 2008 and 2009 following a 2007 audit by the Inspector General's Office that also identified what it described at the time as “extravagant costs associated with food and beverages and event planning activities.” The new report said that while it found that the Justice Department had instituted conference cost guidelines since the 2007 report, individual components within the agency “are not taking all necessary steps to minimize conference-related costs and to eliminate wasteful spending.”

The report noted that the department hosted or participated in 1,832 conferences in fiscal 2008 and 2009, costing a total of $121 million. The new audit examined 10 conferences that occurred between October 2008 and September 2009 and cost over $4.4 million. It focused on the two major conference cost categories that the September 2007 report revealed as most potentially susceptible to wasteful spending – event planning services and food and beverages.

“Our audit found that two DOJ components, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), spent approximately $600,000 in grant funds to procure event planning services for five conferences without demonstrating that these firms offered the most cost effective logistical services,” Ms. Schnedar said. “The audit also found that neither OJP nor the OVW required event planners to track and report salary and benefit costs.

“As a result, the mandated DOJ conference cost reports submitted to Congress did not include over $500,000 of the $600,000 that it spent on event planning services for the five conferences we examined where event planners were used,” she said.

The audit also identified what it called “unallowable and unnecessary event planning costs,” including the hiring of a consultant as an event planner for one conference who lived in Anchorage, Alaska, to act as the liaison with the conference hotel located in Palm Springs, California. The audit questioned as “unnecessary” nearly $3,500 in Justice Department funds paid to the consultant to travel three times between Alaska and California, especially since the event had been held at the same venue three times previously. Also questioned as unnecessary in the audit were over $29,000 in travel, lodging and food and beverage costs for a face-to-face planning meeting held in Palm Springs in January and February 2008 that was attended by Justice department employees and event planning consultants.

In a response to the Inspector General’s report, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden sent a memo to all department heads saying that as the department works to accomplish its mission, “We must also make certain we do so with a focus on accountability and transparency to the American taxpayers.” He told the department heads to ensure that financial resources are utilized in the most advantageous and responsible manner.
“I want to emphasize the need to maximize our financial resources, ensure we are prudent in our spending, and avoid the fact or appearance of extravagant spending, especially during these challenging financial times,” he said.


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September 20, 2011, 01:13 PM

So much wrong...
I swear people need to start getting fired. Things are so bad that every dime can help us save money. What happend to the bidding process to cater the event? I mean if they winning bid had $16 muffins, then I hate to see the loosing bidders price for muffins.

This makes me mad and a little sad... we will never know how much money is being fucked over.


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September 20, 2011, 01:15 PM

WTF? 1,832 conference in 2 years??????? WTF ????


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September 20, 2011, 01:16 PM

How many conferences do they need to convince departments to increase ticketing of motorists?


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September 20, 2011, 01:20 PM

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So much wrong...
What happend to the bidding process to cater the event? I mean if they winning bid had $16 muffins, then I hate to see the loosing bidders price for muffins.
8(a) sole source FTW


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September 20, 2011, 01:26 PM

"Other costly items cited in the report included a $32-per-person snack break consisting of Cracker Jacks, popcorn and candy bars"

$32. Are you kidding me?!! And we have small businesses failing and people going without, so we (taxpayers) can pay a 1000% markup on over the counter snacks.


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September 20, 2011, 01:27 PM

this shit has been going on for YEARS. everyone knows, and yet nothing ever seems to change.
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September 20, 2011, 01:27 PM

Crime in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How far would some of that money go in helping us lower our crime rate?
I am saddened by the fact that we are suppose to be the greatest nation in the world but many statistics don't show that story.
Russia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras are the nations with higher homicides.

Overall, the crime rate in the U.S. was the same in 2009 as in 1968, with the homicide rate being roughly the same as in 1964. Violent crime overall, however, is still at the same level as in 1973, despite having decreased steadily since 1991.

Just horrible in the scope of things.
We seem more worried about helping other nations while our own has so much more work to be done.


To punish and enslave!
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religion is just a misspelling of superstition

Quote:
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Once again I forgive you for your self-righteousness, bigotry and prejudice.
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I'll also thank them for proving that you don't need the force to get a woman to make you a sammich.
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
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September 20, 2011, 01:29 PM

Fucking retarded......
Im sure its friends of someone...thats the only way they can get away with this shit if its an 8(a) company.


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September 20, 2011, 01:31 PM

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September 20, 2011, 01:32 PM

Quote:
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WTF? 1,832 conference in 2 years??????? WTF ????
That's exactly what I said! That's a LOT of f'ing conferences!


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September 20, 2011, 01:34 PM

None of this nonsense will change until the taxpayers stand up together.



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September 20, 2011, 01:43 PM

pics of these so-called muffins?......


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pics of these so-called muffins?......


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September 20, 2011, 01:52 PM

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None of this nonsense will change until the taxpayers stand up together.

then we can all bitch about how the coverage of the revolution on tv only leads to a negative image for the protesters and will ultimately result in negative legislation impacting the revolters rights and not allowing them to have a nice proper revolt which can be enjoyed by all commuters/citizens.

Much better to just have small groups of 4 revolt at a time...apparently


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