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December 2020


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Tag: muffin

OK Bill O’Reilly, You Can Stop Mentioning the $16 Muffin

By Danny Fenster

Folks like talk show host Bill O’Reilly talked incessantly about the government spending $16  a muffin at a conference even after press reports began to surface that the Justice Department report on the issue  probably wasn’t true. The Hilton hotel had disputed it all along, saying the price included multiple breakfast items.

Well, now it’s really official. Last week the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a revised version of an earlier report on conference expenditures that had made front page headlines in September, reports Government Executive.

“After further review of the newly provided documentation and information,” acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar said in a statement, “we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the . . . conference were incorrect.”


The original report had made mention of $16.80 muffins at an August 2009 Justice Department event at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Calling the report a “wake-up call” on wasteful spending on conferences, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had called for the firing of some department employees at the time.

“We hope that our correction of the record for this one conference among the 10 conferences we reviewed does not detract from the more significant conclusion in our report: government conference expenditures must be managed carefully, and the department can do more to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and accounted for properly,” the new report said.

To read more click here.


Hilton Denies it Charged Justice Dept. $16 Just for Muffin

By Allan Lengel
Apparently the controversy over the Justice Department paying $16 a muffin at a conference isn’t quite over yet.

Now comes the Capital Hilton hotel, which charged $4,200 for $250 muffins at a Justice Department conference in 2009.

The hotel is denying the charge was just for muffins, contrary to an Inspector General report, which chided the department for excessive spending on beverages and food at conferences, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reports that the hotel says the $16-per-person muffin included fresh fruit, coffee and juice, plus tax and gratuity.

“Hilton has a long-standing practice of working with government agencies to plan meetings and events that fall within their budgets,” the spokesman said, suggesting the IG report didn’t reflect that, the LA Times reported. “Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided…”

The LA Times reported that the Justice Department said: “We stand by our report.”

The IG report, which triggered an avalanche of criticism, also cited other excessive spending: $10 for cookies, $5 cans of soda, $8 cups of coffee, and over $32 per person for Cracker Jacks and other snacks.

$16 a Muffin: IG Report Finds Justice Dept. Over Spent at Conferences on Food and Beverages

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Muffins: $16 apiece. Coffee: more than a dollar an ounce. Snacks: $32 per person.

A report issued Tuesday by the Justice Department’s inspector general found excessive spending on food and beverages in an audit of 10 department conferences.

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

In response, the Justice Department concurred with the IG’s recommendations to more closely monitor costs.

To read more click here.

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