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NLRB Should Do More to Respect Workers, Employers, and Taxpayers

We already knew the partisan bureaucrats at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have an alarming appetite for pushing a culture of union favoritism and sticking workers and small businesses with the bill. But who knew taxpayers were picking up the tab for the agency’s expensive taste in snacks?

An audit released by the NLRB Inspector General reveals the agency has spent thousands of dollars on everything from bartending services to absurdly priced coffee at conferences. The report includes specific details on the agency’s excessive spending habit: 

  • For 3 days of the conference, the Agency procured six gallons of Starbucks coffee at a cost of $622.20. This equates to a cost of $6.48 per 8 ounce cup.

Hold on … $6.48? If that’s how much a regular cup of joe at Starbucks costs, then that will be news to most. But the tab keeps running:  

  • 112 bottles of fruit juice at a cost of $683.20, or $6.10 per bottle;
      
  • 77 bottles of “Coca Cola Soft Drinks” at a cost of $422.73, or $5.49 per bottle;
       
  • 192 granola bars at a cost of $858.88, or $4.47 per bar;
       
  • 84 freshly baked cookies and brownies at a cost of $427.00, or $5.08 per item;
      
  • 168 freshly baked Danishes at a cost of $854.00, or $5.08 per Danish;
       
  • 60 freshly baked scones served with Devonshire cream at a cost of $347.70, or $5.80 per scone;
       
  • 48 giant soft pretzels at a cost of $292.80, or $6.10 per pretzel; and
        
  • 72 individual bags of snacks at a cost of $351.36, or $5.49 per bag.

The report notes the NLRB also failed to properly approve training courses:

We determined that the Office of Employee Development improperly approved training for employees taking college courses towards a degree because, other than a program for support staff, the National Labor Relations Board does not have an academic degree program. As a result, we found that the Office of Employee Development had $36,095.60 in questioned costs because the approvals of the college courses were not supported by proper documentation.

As the Inspector General’s office summarized its findings:

We also determined that four of the five conferences with break refreshments exceeded the Contracting Officer’s reasonableness guidelines for the expenditure of appropriated funds for food. Additionally, we found that there was a waste of appropriated funds for conference expenses related to the procurement of refreshments for meals and refreshments at awards ceremonies. As a result of these determinations, we questioned the expenditure of $20,225.37 for expense related to food and bartending services.

Exceeding guidelines. Wasting funds. Questionable expenditures. Republicans have long urged the NLRB to do more to respect the rights of workers and small business owners who are being hurt by its extreme, partisan agenda. Turns out, the NLRB must do more to respect America’s hardworking taxpayers, too.