TODAY   |  March 25, 2013

IRS turns employee training into ‘Star Trek’ spoof

The IRS is under fire for two videos, costing about $60,000, featuring an elaborate “Star Trek” parody for employee training. A congressional committee has declared the videos have very little training value at all. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> to an apology to the irs for a training video that parodied " star trek " and paid for by taxpayer money. kelly o'donnell good morning to you.

>> good morning. any time your tax money is wasted it's frustrating but especially so when it's the irs accused of poor judgment. congressional committee found this " star trek " spoof didn't have any training value in it at all. to boldly go hollywood. the irs spent about $60,000. making two videos including this elaborate " star trek " parody.

>> sorry about the uniforms, captain, the dry cleaner gave me the wrong order.

>> reporter: starring their captain kirk .

>> engineering how fast can you get us the heck out of here.

>> we're drying the engines as fast as we can.

>> reporter: and of course mr. spock but they aren't actors, no, they are the text men.

>> back in russia, i dreamed someday i'd be rich and famous .

>> me, too, that's why i became a public servant.

>> reporter: the irs says the video was made for a 2010 employee conference.

>> you don't mean --

>> that's right, sir, pennies on a dollar.

>> reporter: the house oversight committee demanded the irs turn over the video and explain how much was spent. congressman charles gustani said "the star trek video did not contain meaningful kong tent." critics call the video expensive silliness.

>> the american people will see this and be dismayed and disappointed and some people feel i knew those guys were just wasting my money.

>> reporter: the irs responded saying "there is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources and a video of this type would not be made today." for that $60,000 they also made a "gilligan's island" spoof but the committee found that did have training value. the irs says by making videos they can actually save money by getting information out there to the public or sometimes their own employees, they have their own youtube channel that's had more than 4 million views. matt?

>> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. i have a couple of comments but for the irs , perhaps maybe just keep them to myself.

>> let's do a sitcom for us.

>> especially this time of year.

>> right.