Sunday, September 25, 2011

Obama Justice Department Buys $16 Muffins

Nice muffin.... but $16?
Washington DC, Sep 25, 2011. President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, and First Lady Michelle Obama are well known for their extravagant luxury vacations at five star resort hotels, where no expense is spared.

But this tendency towards spending freely doesn't stop at the White House. It extends throughout the Obama Administration.

It was recently discovered that the Obama Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, has been spending a fortune for agency-sponsored conferences, including buying $16 muffins, $10 cookies, and $8 cups of coffee.

And this is according to a new Justice Department Inspector General audit released this week! The audit even found that this administration was spending almost $5 "per Swedish meatball" for one event!

The report revealed, “one conference served $16 muffins while another served Beef Wellington hors d’oeuvres that cost $7.32 per serving. Coffee and tea at the events cost between $0.62 and $1.03 an ounce. At the $1.03 per-ounce price, an 8-ounce cup of coffee would have cost $8.24.

“For event planning services, DOJ spent $600,000 (14 percent of costs) to hire training and technical assistance providers as external event planners for 5 of the 10 conferences reviewed. This was done without demonstrating that these firms offered the most cost effective logistical event planning services. Further, these event planners did not accurately track and report conference expenditures,” the audit noted.

"True, but they were really good muffins"
The report highlights two examples where the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) spent over $32,000 in planning meetings in Palm Springs, Calif., for two conferences.

In another instance at an Office of Violence Against Women conference, “OVW conference attendees received Cracker Jacks, popcorn, and candy bars at a single break that cost $32 per person.”

The $16 muffins were served at a conference hosted by the Executive Office for Immigration and Review (EOIR). “The EOIR spent $4,200 on 250 muffins and $2,880 on 300 cookies and brownies.

By itemizing these costs, we determined that, with service and gratuity, muffins cost over $16 each and cookies and brownies cost almost $10 each,” the audit noted.

The Inspector General’s report made 10 recommendations to cut conference expenditures. These include reviewing hotel service charges, logistical and salaries for conference workers, and conducting cost comparisons.

The extent to which public money has been wasted on snacks and soft drinks was laid bare in a report issued Tuesday by the Justice Department's inspector general.

Justice spent about $490,000 on food and beverages at the conferences — more than 10 percent of the $4.4 million total budget for the events.

In response, the Justice Department agreed with the inspector general's recommendations to more closely monitor costs. The department hosted or participated in 1,832 conferences in 2008 and 2009, costing $121 million.

"Joe, you gotta admit.... a $16 muffin is pretty funny!"
The report says that with service charges, taxes and indirect costs, many of the meals and refreshments at the conferences the inspector general examined appeared to be extravagant and wasteful and exceeded department cost limits.

This is just another indication that this administration isn't spending money wisely. Rather, they act like they don't care about the cost, since the taxpayers are footing the bill.

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