conference spending

The scrutiny over what federal employees spend to attend work-related conferences has continued to escalate after a recent salvo of letters to the secretaries of the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services and other agencies.

The letters, from Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he chairs, ask for a detailed accounting of travel spending in connection with 150 conferences. After analyzing “thousands of documents,” the committee concluded that the General Services Administration was hardly alone when, in 2010, it permitted employees to spend an average of $600 per day per employee to attend an over-the-top regional training conference in Las Vegas. Keep reading →

In an effort to ensure taxpayers won’t be footing any more big bills for lavish Las Vegas parties, lawmakers have approved the first of what could be several new rules governing events for federal workers.

The House voted Wednesday to approve the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) to set new standards for federal agencies planning outings. It includes a $500,000 spending cap on conferences held by individual agencies and would require every agency to disclose what they are spending on contracts on a single public website. Keep reading →