Burn Bag: US Embassy Madrid’s Wise Use of Taxpayer Funded Employee Time?

Via Burn Bag:

“Last year and the year before, Embassy Madrid hosted the biggest (or one of the biggest) July 4th celebration with roughly 4,000 guests.  Plans for this year call for a bigger celebration.  Wise use of taxpayer funded employee time?”








3 responses

  1. Going hat in hand for donations to throw an Embassy July 4th party is crass and demeaning. I did it for over 20 years. In every post, the U.S. national day was the most ridiculous blow-out and waste of time and resources. If we had to bill for the staff time to solicit donations and mount the extravaganza, it would be shocking. We should scale back our national day celebration to those of other countries — a vin d’ honneur or simple mid-afternoon reception for Ambassadorial-level contacts. Then have the real day off, and if the CLO or Marines wish to sponsor an event for the community or as a fundraiser for their activities, the COM and DCM should be there to support it.

    • State set aside funds for 4th of July events but also solicit donations from US companies operating in host countries. In posts where there is a political appointee like Madrid, the political ambassador may spend out of pocket. Even if partly funded by donations, that means employees are tasked with soliciting from donors. Time spent doing so is taxpayer funded labor, I suspect that’s what the sender is referring to.