IRS Spent $60,000 on Star Trek and Gilligan's Island Parody Videos | Citizens Against Government Waste

IRS Spent $60,000 on Star Trek and Gilligan's Island Parody Videos

The WasteWatcher

If you thought that there couldn't possibly be any other embarrassing details about  federal agency conference spending, I regret to inform you that you were wrong.  It was discovered on Friday, March 22, 2013  that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spent $60,000 in  2010 on a Star Trek parody video and a Gilligan's Island parody video, which the agency claims were used to help train employees.  The Star Trek video was shown at the opening of a 2010 training and leadership conference, and can be viewed here. According to Steven Miller, the IRS' acting commissioner, these videos saved taxpayers $1.5 million by avoiding in-person employee training.  However, after watching the video, it is difficult to see what, if any, training value it may contain.  A March 25, 2013 article in the LA times provides a good description of the video's contents:

The video features an elaborate set depicting the control room, or bridge, of the spaceship featured in the hit TV show. IRS workers portrayed the characters, including one as pointy-eared Mr. Spock. In the video, the spaceship is approaching the planet Notax, where alien identity theft appears to be a problem.

At a time when agencies are complaining about how difficult it is to make spending cuts, this video clearly demonstrates that there is plenty of wasteful spending to be targeted.  Already among the least liked federal agencies, this video is unlikely to win the IRS any popularity points with taxpayers.

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