U.S. Travel Association Aims to Strengthen Oversight of Government Meetings

The U.S. Travel Association released yesterday a proposal to strengthen the oversight of government meetings, aiming to preserve the government's ability to hold ethical conferences. Among the organization's recommendations to Congress, per a statement released by USTA president Roger Dow, are to require federal agencies to report all conference-related expenditures and conference-contracting procedures to the Inspector General at the end of each fiscal year, and to ensure that agencies select conference locations based solely on cost-effectiveness by permanently eliminating the "blacklisting" of American cities for government conferences and meetings. This week Congress will consider several appropriations bills containing proposals to increase oversight and curb travel spending, according to Dow. U.S. Travel's aim is to advocate for such controls while dissuading members of Congress from supporting other measures that could have unintended consequences for the travel industry.