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U.S. Travel Applauds Common-Sense Government Travel Reforms

July 23, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, today released the following statement applauding Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-4), Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, José Serrano (D-NY-15), Ranking Member, and Sam Farr (D-CA-20) for their efforts to require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to examine the impact of its policy to reduce federal travel spending by 30 percent below fiscal year 2010 levels. The requirement was included in the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill.

“America’s travel community is grateful to Representatives Crenshaw, Serrano and Farr for their important work on reforming government travel policies to ensure that meetings and travel serve to make government more efficient and effective.

“Last year, the Obama Administration mandated significant cutbacks in government travel and instituted stringent guidelines to prevent unethical spending on government conferences. The action by the subcommittee to require OMB to examine the impact of these policies is a responsible approach that will help ensure that government travel policies safeguard taxpayer dollars, help accomplish agency missions and allow for mission-critical travel to take place.

“U.S. Travel urges Congress to refrain from enacting any permanent changes to government travel policy until the effectiveness of the spending cuts and more stringent oversight requirements have been carefully evaluated.

“Government meetings and travel help the government accomplish its goals while also contributing to economic growth. We are committed to working with Congress and the Administration to encourage responsible travel policies that account for the positive impact of government meetings and travel.”

Government travel and meetings have a strong record of efficiency and far-reaching value:

  • Spending on government meetings and event operations in 2011 was significantly lower than the private sector – an average of $173 per delegate, per day, compared to $339 for the private sector;
  • Seventy-four percent of private-sector executives said that having government employees present at meetings and events added value to their firms through knowledge transfer; and
  • Eighty-nine percent of government supervisors believe that government meetings and events benefit citizens; 85 percent of government respondents agreed that meetings and events added value to employee development and training.

Learn more about the value of government travel and meetings here.

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