- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

“DOJ spent $58 million on conferences last year, prompting Senate inquiry” (Web, June 12) inaccurately characterizes as Justice Department “junkets” core national security and law-enforcement training covering subjects such as advanced counterintelligence techniques, crime-scene evidence photography, weapons of mass destruction preparedness and response, forensic examination of crime scenes and prevention of money laundering. This and similar training is essential to having a highly skilled national security and law-enforcement workforce. Also, the conference on international drug enforcement, which was hosted by the Indonesian government, had more than 300 international attendees, not 30 attendees, as the piece reported.

We do appreciate that the story points out that the Department of Justice reduced its conference spending by $7.8 million last year. I can add that our prior-year savings topped $26 million. The department is committed to cost-effective solutions that allow us to protect the American people, safeguard vital programs and precious resources, and hold criminals accountable.

LEE LOFTHUS

Chief financial officer

Department of Justice

Washington