IRS spent $10,000 on ‘Apprentice’ video

Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 18:20:54-04
(CNN) — The Internal Revenue Service released a new parody video to Congress on Friday, this time in the styling of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.”
The four-minute video was made for a 2011 Small Business/Self-Employed Division conference and cost $10,000 to produce. The IRS this year came under scrutiny for wasteful spending at conferences, including money spent on other training videos.
Those videos featured IRS employees learning how to dance the Cupid Shuffle and performing roles from Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island. Combined, they cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The newly-released video features a group of employees in a dimly-lit board room setting, mimicking Trump’s flagship program on NBC. Ironically, the SB/SE leaders sitting before the Trump impersonator were “fired” for failing to come up with enough good ideas to get CPE’s (continuing professional education) credits without “spending a lot of travel money.”
The low-quality production video was given to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has been investigating the IRS this year for its targeting of political groups as well as wasteful spending practices.
“Another day, another example of abuse and waste at the IRS. Months ago, I demanded the IRS come clean about the time and money it spent to produce these frivolous videos,” said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., chairman of the subcommittee on oversight.
“While we may have no answers, we do have an endless supply of what appears to be the IRS’s idea of entertainment,” he continued in a statement. “Whether it is wasteful conferences and videos or the inexcusable targeting of taxpayers based on their personal beliefs, there is nothing amusing about the American people footing the bill for this rogue and out of control agency.”
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has also been probing the agency.
The IRS says the videos made in 2010 and 2011 “are from a prior era and do not reflect the stringent policies the IRS now has in place to ensure that all training videos are made at the lowest possible cost and with appropriate content.”
“Simply put, these videos would not be made at the IRS today,” the IRS said in a statement Friday, adding that video costs by IRS business units are down by 90% this year compared to a year ago.