DoJ IG: Conference muffins didn't cost $16

Friday - 10/28/2011, 4:58pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Last month, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice said the agency spent too much money on conferences, citing $16 muffins as one example.

Today, the IG's office retracted that finding, saying the muffins did not actually cost $16.

In the preface to the revised report, the IG's office wrote, "After publication of the report, we received additional documents and information concerning the food and beverage costs at the EOIR [Executive Office for Immigration Review] conference. After further review of the newly provided documentation and information, and after discussions with the Capital Hilton and the Department, we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the EOIR conference were incorrect and that the Department did not pay $16 per muffin."

The original report said DoJ spent $4,200 for 250 muffins.

The additional information showed that the muffins were actually part of a modified continental breakfast priced at $16.80 and consisting of items such as pastries, fruit, coffee, tea and juice.

Overall, the IG's office examined spending for 10 conferences, finding the department had spent more than $490,000 on food and beverages at these events. The revised report said the correction for this one conference does not detract from the overall finding that conference spending must be "managed carefully."

After the IG initially released its audit findings, the Office of Management and Budget ordered a governmentwide review of conference spending.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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