GSA Cancels Expo for Second Year In A Row

Originally posted on Fierce Government by Ryan McDermott

For the second year in a row, the General Services Administration cancelled its annual Expo conference, once again citing budget constraints and flagging attendance projections.

"In the current fiscal climate, agencies and businesses alike continue to make tough spending cuts and operate under reduced travel budgets," GSA wrote on the Expo website. "After careful review of projected attendance and continued travel budget reductions, GSA has made the decision to not hold an Expo in 2014."

GSA said it would still try to offer an Expo conference in 2015.

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Auditors OK DoD Conference Policy

Originally posted on by Nichole Blake Johnson

The Pentagon's conference spending policy generally aligns with government wide standards, and in some instances, exceeds them, a review has determined.

The Office of Management and Budget's 2012 policy is the benchmark.

DoD requires senior-level review and and pre-approval of all conference-related costs, while OMB requires senior-level review of conferences only when the estimated costs exceed $100,000, according to the Government Accountability Office report. DoD also aligns with OMB policy by publicly reporting annual conference costs. In addition, the department requires quarterly internal reporting of conference costs.

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Post conference scandals, agencies struggle to find balance

Originally posted on Federal News Radio by Jason Miller

Agencies are spending tens of millions of dollars less on travel and conferences today after repeated scandals came to light in 2012.

Some in Congress want to know what more can be done to ensure agencies will not go back to abusing the system in the future. At the same time, lawmakers also want to make sure agencies are not missing out on important opportunities that conferences provide.

Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are asking agency officials and inspector generals for help achieve the right balance.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the committee, said agencies must be good shepherds of their funding, but not overlook the benefits that come from conferences.

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Conference spending drops dramatically

Originally posted on by Andy Medici

Conference spending at four agencies fell 88 percent from fiscal 2010 to 2012, according to a report released Jan. 3 by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.

The Defense Department, Veterans Affairs Department, the General Services Administration and the IRS spent a combined $224 million on conferences in fiscal 2010 compared to $26 million in 2012, according to the report.

Mica, chairman of the subcommittee on Government Operations in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said increased congressional oversight of these agencies contributed to the drop in conference spending.

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New Study: Government Event Cancellations and Travel Restrictions Negatively Impacting Innovation and Collaboration

Originally posted on FedConnects

Both industry and government believe that event cancellations and federal travel restrictions are negatively impacting innovation and collaboration, which will adversely impact government contractors' ability to influence and service government customers.

This is one of the key findings of a Market Connections, Inc. and Boscobel Marketing Communications, Inc. PulsePoll™, which was released today.

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