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'Star Trek' training video a mistake, IRS says

March 25, 2013|By Stuart Pfeifer
  • IRS workers portray "Star Trek" characters in a training video.
IRS workers portray "Star Trek" characters in a training video. (Associated Press )

The Internal Revenue Service has apologized for spending about $60,000 on a training video that parodied the television show, “Star Trek.”

In a six-minute video that is attracting wide attention on the Internet, IRS workers portrayed characters from the popular television series and vowed “to boldly go where no governmental employee has gone before.”

Congress was not amused, calling the video a waste of taxpayer money.

The IRS has acknowledged it was a mistake for employees to make the video. It was shown at the opening of a 2010 training and leadership conference but does not appear to have any training value.

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.

"The IRS recognizes and takes seriously our obligation to be good stewards of government resources and taxpayer dollars," the agency said in a statement. "There is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources."

The agency said it has tightened controls over the use of its production equipment to "ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of taxpayer funds while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation's tax system."

The agency also said, "A video of this type would not be made today."

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