The Internal Revenue Service handed over a video to Congress on Friday showing their employees line dancing on a stage. With across the board spending cuts, why is the IRS seemingly the only government agency that just can’t stop making movies?
Back in March it was revealed the IRS spent $60K on training videos with elaborate sets and costumes inspired by “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
The latest movie cost $1,600 and was allegedly filmed at IRS offices in New Carrollton, Md. The purpose of the video was for "training," to be shown at the end of the IRS 2010 training and leadership conference in Anaheim, Calif.
The agency’s training and leadership conference has come under scrutiny by the Treasury inspector general in a report to be released next week called “Collected and Wasted: The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses.”
In a statement, the IRS admitted the video was "unacceptable and an inappropriate use of government funds."
The agency explained in March that it no longer makes videos of this type and that it tightened control over production equipment to “ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of tax payer funds with ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.”
The three movies were handed over on Friday after criticism from Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
"Whether it is the tens of thousands of hard-earned taxpayer dollars spent to produce frivolous entertainment for agency bureaucrats, or the IRS’s own admission that it targeted the American people based on their personal beliefs, the outrage toward the IRS is only growing stronger," said Boustany in a statement.
"Clearly this is an agency where abuse and waste is the norm and not the exception. It is clear that this is a broken agency that is empowered by a broken tax code. We need to fix this and make not only the agency, but the tax code, more effective and efficient.”
In the latest videos, employees dance on stage to a song, presumably the 2007 hit “Cupid Shuffle” from performer Cupid.
Danny Werfel, the IRS' new acting commissioner, in a statement called the 2010 conference "an unfortunate vestige from a prior era."
"Taxpayers should take comfort that a conference like this would not take place today," Werfel said.