Hold the muffin: Obama orders govt spending review

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration reacted to reports of $16 dollar muffins served at Justice Department conferences by ordering agencies to review the spending of taxpayer dollars at such meetings.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is spearheading an effort to cut government waste, said a deputy secretary or an equivalent chief operating officer at each agency will have to approve conference-related activities and expenses while the review is under way. He says that will hold those at the top accountable for the spending.

A report Tuesday by the Justice Department's inspector general found excessive spending on food and beverages in an audit of 10 department conferences. It found muffins that cost $16 apiece, coffee at more than a dollar an ounce and snacks, including Cracker Jack and popcorn, at $32 per person.

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