The Justice Department didn't spend $16 apiece for muffins at a conference but still should be more careful on meeting budgets, says the department's Inspector General. On Friday, the auditors apologized for saying earlier that the department spent $16.80 each for muffins at a conference at Washington, D.C.'s Capital Hilton hotel, the Washington Post reports.
Acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar said the muffins were part of a continental breakfast that also included items such as fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and other pastries. The new audit attributed the error to the Justice Department's own Executive Office for Immigration Review, which had documents showing the muffins were not so expensive as initially reported but “inadvertently” did not give them to the inspector general. The alleged $16 muffin caused a major stir at a time when belt-tightening is a watchword in Washington. Republicans and Democrats alike cited the pastries as emblems of wasteful spending. The day after the initial audit was issued, the Obama administration ordered a government-wide review of conference expenses.