White House Clarifies Rules for Federal Spending on Conferences and Travel

In May 2013, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo providing guidance on expenditures of federal funds for travel, conferences and meetings. Previous directives from the OMB ordered federal agencies to curtail spending on conferences and travel in the wake of budget cuts due to sequestration and Congressional outrage over perceived misuse of government funds for meetings and conferences.

The new memo stresses the importance of mission-related travel and conferences in agency operations, including for the promotion of collaborations within the scientific community. The memo calls on each federal agency to implement internal travel and conference policies in a manner that balances reductions in spending with meeting mission-related agency goals. The memo also instructs agencies to develop specific guidelines on acceptable conference and travel expenses, and provides a list of best practices.

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OMB Controller Alert on Meetings Travel May 2013

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memo providing guidance on expenditures of federal funds for travel, conferences and meetings. [PDF]

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