Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

When Is a $16 Muffin Not a $16 Muffin?

ARCHIVES

The great $16 muffin scandal at the Justice Department has taken another turn.

The Associated Press reports that Hilton Worldwide, accused in a DOJ inspector general report of charging the extravagant muffin prices at a 2009 legal training conference in Washington, says IG auditors misinterpreted its invoices. The prices it charged included not just baked goods but fresh fruit, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tax and tips.

"Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided, as is the case with recent media reports of breakfast items approved for some government meetings," Hilton Worldwide officials said in a statement.

Even before Hilton issued its response, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones was skeptical of the tale of the overpriced muffin on Wednesday. After reviewing the IG report, he wrote:

So did DOJ really pay $16 for muffins? Of course not. In fact, it's obvious that someone quite carefully calculated the amount they were allowed to spend and then gave the hotel a budget. The hotel agreed, but for some reason decided to divide up the charges into just a few categories instead of writing a detailed invoice for every single piece of food they provided.

Of course, none of that is going to stop politicians from going on TV to call for the heads of "bureaucrats" who suffer from "elitism":

(Hat tips: Politico, Talking Points Memo)

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.