GSA Fallout Continues

Amid conjecture that criminal charges might be levied over the General Services Administration's misuse of public funds at its 2010 Western Regions Conference, Congress has voted to cut and freeze travel spending by government agencies for five years, according to Travel Weekly, M&C's sister publication. The Senate also agreed, by voice vote on Tuesday, to such reforms as capping at $500,000 how much can be spent on a single conference and requiring expenses for each conference to be posted online. According to Politico, conference organizers also would have to justify their site selection and conduct a cost-benefit analysis showing why a face-to-face meeting should be held rather than a videoconference. Meanwhile, the Global Business Travel Association has canceled its National Travel Forum, which was planned for June 4 in Phoenix. A statement on the GBTA website says, "Having just been notified by the General Services Administration that it is no longer able to support the National Travel Forum planned for June 4-7, 2012, the Global Business Travel Association has no choice but to postpone the National Travel Forum… Although we at GBTA firmly believe that there is no more appropriate time for government travel professionals to learn cost-cutting strategies from top corporate travel managers, hear from business and academic leaders, build key relationships with industry suppliers, and reinforce ethical behavior standards, we cannot hold this important forum without GSA's participation." Read the GBTA's full statement here.