The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report today on travel to a 2010 IRS conference. The findings of the Inspector General's report clearly detail instances of IRS conference planners not following established procurement policies.
While the meetings industry is disappointed by the IG report, it’s important that everyone view the report in the proper context and remember the vital role that government participation in business meetings plays in fostering effective regulation, contributing to innovation that drives economic growth, and providing essential learning and training opportunities.
Congress and the Obama administration should carry out a measured and appropriate response that increases oversight but does not discourage productive meetings from taking place.
The meetings industry has been an active participant in the development of best practices and new guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses.
I urge you to 1) take action and contact your Washington DC representation and share this same message with them – if you need your representation’s contact information you can access that information on ASAE’s website
and 2) communicate this message with your organization leadership.
Should you need any assistance or additional messaging support, do not hesitate to contact us.