$16 muffins and $7.32 Beef Wellington hors d’oeuvre servings at Justice Department conferences? The department’s inspector general chided officials for not minimizing costs at some 2008 and 2009 sessions. Cracker Jacks, candy bars, and popcorn at one Office for Violence Against Women event were found to cost $32 per person.
“Not all sponsors were seriously questioning the need for expensive meals and refreshments and their events,” says the report. It singles out the Office for Victims of Crime for spending $30,000 to send Indian Nations conference planners to Palm Springs, Ca., to map out a session that had been held at the same location three times before. Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson said the funding was “reasonable, necessary and allowable” and that experts could not have planned the meeting effectively by telephone over two days.