IRS spent $50 million on 220 employee conferences

Included in the expenses was $1,600 to teach employees the "Cupid Shuffle" dance


Jillian Rayfield
June 3, 2013 5:27PM (UTC)

More trouble for the IRS: A new report by the Treasury Department's inspector general will reportedly show that in about three years, the IRS spent roughly $50 million on 220 employee conferences.

From the Associated Press:

The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about "leadership through art," the House committee said.

The agency also spent $1,600 teaching employees to dance the "Cupid Shuffle" at the end of a 2010 leadership conference, and released the video as part of its report to Congress last week. The agency previously released parodies of "Star Trek" and "Gilligan's Island," which also proved rather embarrassing for them.

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According to the AP, a spokesman for the agency said it  "has already taken aggressive and dramatic action to reduce conference spending."


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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