5 Ways to Get Your Conference Approved

Originally published by Goran Gligorovic on Government Executive

Budget cuts and tighter regulations in the wake of high-profile cases of excessive conference spending have combined to put the squeeze on federal off-site gatherings this year.

However, the U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council shared guidance recently indicating that government travel is, by no means, forbidden. "As each agency reviews its travel and conference-related activities, it is critical for each agency to continue to recognize the important role that mission-related travel and conferences can often play in government operations," the council said in a May 28 Controller Alert.

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Area hotels prepare to accommodate new government per-diem rates

Originally published by Abha Bhattarai on The Washington Post

The federal government adjusted its allowances for employee travel and conferences last week, sending area hotels scrambling to make adjustments before the new per diems take effect Oct. 1.

The most marked change, hotel managers say, is the elimination of a clause that currently allows employees to spend an extra 25 percent for conferences.

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Federal travel tab slashed $1 billion, largely in conference cuts

Originally posted by TravelMole

Federal government travelers cut their spending by more than a billion dollars so far in 2013, largely by cutting down on conference spending, the Federal Times reported last week.

Travel-related charges to the SmartPay charge card program fell 17%, from $7.3 billion to about $6 billion -- and more than 40% from the $9.6 billion government workers spent on travel in fiscal 2011.

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GSA ups per diem rates for 2014, ends conference allowance

Originally published by Jack Moore on Federal News Radio

After a two-year freeze, per diems for work-related federal travel are going up slightly, according to the General Services Administration.

The standard rate for lodging will increase from $77 to $83, while the standard rate for meals and incidental expenses will remain unchanged. The changes take effect at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

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Government Conferences Pay for Themselves, Industry Says

Originally posted by Charles S. Clark on Government Executive

Agency spending on travel to conferences is "vital to making government more efficient and effective," says a study released this month by the U.S. Travel Association. It argues that current Obama administration guidelines and legislation to curb conference spending is counterproductive.

Government travel for meetings and events had a total economic impact of $24.4 billion in 2011, supported 343,800 U.S. jobs and $14.5 billion in U.S. wages, and contributed $5.5 billion in tax revenue, according to the data compiled by Rockport Analytics LLC.

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