From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:
Originally posted on washingtonpost.com By Lisa Rein
When federal employees get together for training and meetings, fancy lunches aren't on the menu anymore. In fact, food of any kind -- tuna fish sandwiches, green salad, oatmeal cookies -- can no longer be served by the government. Even coffee is off-limits.
Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies say they can no longer travel to academic conferences to present their research.
And mental-health workers at military hospitals say they are in danger of losing their licenses because they can't attend refresher courses.
Three years after the Obama administration clamped down on travel and training in response to the uproar over a Las Vegas conference where hundreds of federal workers partied for four days at taxpayer expense, the restrictions are taking an unanticipated toll. Employees at a wide range of agencies say the rules are gumming up the machinery of government. Continue reading
Originally posted on Government Executive by Eric Katz.
The federal government is offering $90,000 to people who can help reduce its travel costs.
Uncle Sam spends about $9 billion annually on travel, and the General Services Administration is turning to its own crowdsourcing website for help reducing that tab. GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy opened its Travel Data Challenge on Challenge.gov last week, asking the public to create a "digital interactive tool" that highlights the shortcomings and inefficiencies of current government travel policy.
GSA is "looking to bring a quantitative approach to the data the federal government collects in order to help agencies make smarter business decisions, and to allow them to drive greater saving and efficiencies," according to the posting. The grand prize winner will receive $35,000, the runner up $30,000 and the honorable mention recipient $25,000.
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.
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.
Originally posted by Megan Anderson on Orlando Business Journal
Cutbacks in government travel are beginning to have an impact on Orlando's convention business, Orlando Sentinel reports.
The most recent example was the cancellation of the General Services Administration's training forum, which would have brought a $13 million boost to the local economy, the Sentinel reports.