The Obama administration reacted to reports of 16 US dollar muffins served at Justice Department conferences by ordering agencies to review the spending of taxpayer dollars at such meetings.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is spearheading an effort to cut government waste, said a deputy secretary or an equivalent chief operating officer at each agency will have to approve conference-related activities and expenses while the review is under way.
He said that will hold those at the top accountable for the spending.
A report by the Justice Department's inspector general found excessive spending on food and beverages in an audit of 10 department conferences.
It found muffins that cost 16 US dollars apiece, coffee at more than a dollar an ounce.