Federal government spent $1.3M on alcohol in 2013

Jamie Slater, special to WTOP.com

WASHINGTON — The federal government literally drank up over a million dollars last fiscal year.

According to a report by The Washington Times, records for fiscal year 2013 show the federal government spent $1.3 million on alcohol.

This figure is quadruple the spending from 2005 of $315,000. The Times reports that this is inconsistent with and far greater than the 40 percent increase in prices since that year reported by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Current records for the 2014 fiscal year, which started last October, show a proportional decrease in spending. The government has spent a monthly average of $50,000 this year, which is half of what was spent to date last year. Still, The Times reports, alcohol purchases tend to occur in September, just before the end of the fiscal year.

The State Department in particular spent over $400,000 on alcohol last year, triple the amount from 2008. Although the department would not comment, a 2010 investigation by The Times found that diplomats tend to gift alcohol to foreign officials or provide it to guests of state functions overseas.

In addition to the liquor, the department paid $5 million to a Vermont glass manufacturer for high-quality glassware with the State Department logo.

According to the State Department, all of this spending aids in the diplomatic process and demonstrates American standards of excellence.

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