Government officials are learning that sometimes, numbers do lie.
The U.S. Justice Department's office of the inspector general is sorry for blaming members of its agency for spending $16 on muffins at a five-day conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. back in 2009. They retracted the scathing report that was published in Septmeber 2009 and regret the "signficant negative publicity" it has brought for the department, the NY Times reports.
The original report claimed lawyers spent $4,200 on 250 muffins and $2,880 for 300 cookies and brownies, but the price of the purchases proved to be misleading. As it turned out, the price for the items also included fruit, coffee, juice, taxes and gratuity in addition to being part of a hotel package that allowed free use over select hotel spaces for the conference.
“We regret the error in our original report,” acting inspector general Cynthia Schnedar said in the revised October audit report. The inspector general office said in the report that despite its error, the importance of government conference expenditures being managed carefully and responsibly must be remembered.
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