The Internal Revenue Service Has Regrets

Internal Revenue Service Regrets

It’s been a rough year for the Internal Revenue Service – first they get caught targeting Conservative groups for audits and then word gets out about their lavish conference spending. Maybe they should be audited more often…

Earlier this week, the Treasury Inspector General (IG) released a report detailing $50 million worth of IRS expenditures on a series of lavish conferences between 2010 and 2012. After spending millions on the training conferences, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted that the expenditures were probably “not the best use of taxpayer dollars”.

“In hindsight, many of the expenses that were incurred… should have been more closely scrutinized or not incurred at all, and were not the best use of taxpayer dollars,” Faris Fink, the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Division commissioner, told members of the House Oversight Committee at a hearing examining the expenditures. “We would not hold this same type of meeting today.”

One 2010 Internal Revenue Service conference was particularly expensive. According to the report, the IRS spent $4.1 million on a single conference in 2010, paying high prices to book speakers, spending heavily on perks for attendees, and not bothering to negotiate on lower hotel room rates. The conference, held in Anaheim, California, also featured an IRS-produced video parody of Star Trek and a “dance party” video. These videos, one of which starred Fink as the Mr. Spock character, cost thousands of dollars to create.

Congress was not amused. At the House Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings, expressed his outrage over the videos and the general waste on conference spending.

 “I swear to God, I have looked at that video over and over again and I swear I do not see the redeeming value,” he said. “The money that was spent on that – that’s my money.”

Poor Fink was unable to explain himself. What were supposed to be “well-intentioned” attempts at humour appeared to have backfired.

“Frankly, they were not appropriate,” Fink said. “The fact of the matter is, it’s embarrassing, and I apologize… I regret the fact that they were made.”

Really? How can anyone regret the dance party video?!?

Enjoy it Americans! After all, you paid for it:

Via: CBS News

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