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Report: DOJ Conference Spending Down Almost $72 Million

By / Sep 14, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Last week the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General released a report showing the DOJ’s overall conference spending was reduced by close to $72 million between fiscal years 2010 and 2014.

The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General issued a report [PDF] last week on the DOJ’s successful efforts to reduce conference spending. Between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, DOJ conference spending fell from almost $92 million to less than $20 million. During those same years the number of events held by the DOJ fell from 1,740 to 445.

The report also identified examples of individual conferences that exceeded the cost allowed, though in many cases the DOJ requested preapproval or submitted reports after the conference justifying the additional cost of the event. In addition, the report found the FBI’s conference approval and tracking system to be a best practice, as it includes data on all conference-related costs, and not just events that cost over the reporting threshold.

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice and its components have taken steps to rein in wasteful spending during these tough budgetary times,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) in a statement. “With our national debt over $18 trillion dollars, there is no excuse for the people’s government to waste their hard-earned taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences.”

The report also provides five recommendations to help DOJ components improve their tracking and reporting of conference costs and comply with established DOJ conference cost limits and thresholds. These include updating the conference review and approval process to include a step that compares total current-year conference spending to prior-year spending.

Mary Kate Cunningham

Mary Kate Cunningham is vice president, public policy at ASAE. More »

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