VA spends almost $100k on coffee break at Florida conference

The Department of Veterans Affairs spent $90,747 on coffee and refreshments during morning and afternoon breaks at a pair of training conferences in Orlando last year.

These are the same conferences where the $52,000 video parody of the movie Patton – paid for with taxpayer dollars – was first screened. The total cost of the two VA get-togethers held in July and August 2011 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando was about $5.3 million.

The coffee klatches were needed to carry participants between their regular meals, which tallied $98,189 for four days of catering, and their “morning and evening refreshments,” which came with a price tag of almost $185,000.

At least the VA employees were not famished when they arrived at Karaoke Night, which cost $862.

The new numbers come from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, which has been pressing the VA for spending details related to the human resources training conferences since it learned earlier this month that whistleblower tips led to an investigation by the agency’s inspector general.

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