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Justice Department Muffins Didn’t Really Cost $16, U.S. Says

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department didn’t spend $16 apiece for muffins after all.

The agency’s inspector general today retracted the assertion it made about muffin costs in a Sept. 20 audit of food expenditures at conferences. The original report drew national attention and criticism of the Justice Department from lawmakers.

“After publication of the report, we received additional documents and information concerning the food and beverage costs,” according to a revised report posted on the inspector general’s website.

The new report said the price charged by the Capital Hilton in Washington for the 2009 conference didn’t just include muffins. The hotel served a “modified continental breakfast” that featured pastries, fruit, coffee, tea and juice, according to the revised report.

The modified report didn’t breakout a separate cost for the muffins.

The inspector general’s report said the correction shouldn’t detract from the bigger conclusion: “Government conference expenditures must be managed carefully, and the department can do more to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and accounted for properly.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at sstern14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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