Social Security Administration Spent $32 Million on Conferences



The Social Security Administration billed taxpayers $32 million for work conferences, according to a new audit.

The inspector general for the agency reported that just over 300 conferences cost taxpayers roughly $100,000 each in travel, meals, and lodging expenses during a three-year period.

The audit found that the agency mostly complied with federal reporting requirements to disclose conferences that cost $20,000 or more. The inspector general did find two instances where those conferences were not reported, because initial cost estimates fell below the $20,000 threshold.

In all, the inspector general identified 317 conferences that were held between fiscal years 2013 and 2016.

"The costs of these conferences totaled approximately $31.9 million," the inspector general said.

Each conference cost an average of $100,630.

Since 2013, Congress has required government agencies to notify inspector generals of conferences costing more than $20,000 within 15 days. In 2012 the General Services Administration was exposed for billing taxpayers over $800,000 for a lavish conference in Las Vegas that included clowns, mind readers, and hot tub parties.

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