AIP FYI #102: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News - Update on OMB Travel Restrictions, American Institute of Physics
"The OMB recently issued a 3 1/2 page "Controller Alert: Travel and Conferences" document recognizing the important role that meetings play in the conduct of scientific research. The unsigned and undated memorandum advises that the previously announced spending reductions will continue and details implementation procedures for acceptable travel expenses. This alert, which appears on the website of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), states:"
"Conferences and Travel that Support the Agency Mission"
"The Administration has taken aggressive steps to curtail conference spending and has installed strict policies and controls to ensure that conference expenditures are cost-effective and advance the mission and programmatic goals of each agency. As each agency reviews its travel and conference-related activities, it is critical for each agency to continue to recognize the important role that mission-related travel and conferences can often play in Government operations. Given the unique travel and conference needs of each agency, there are circumstances in which physical collocation is necessary to complete the mission. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, collaborations in the scientific community, unique training events for the law enforcement community, or the need to perform formal inspections as part of an agency's oversight and investigatory responsibilities."
"In addition, bringing together Federal employees at a single location - such as for program reviews or technical evaluations, presentation of scientific findings, oversight boards or advisory group meetings, international engagements, and standards-setting committees - may be the most efficient and cost-effective means for reviewing Government-sponsored efforts, issues, or challenges. Several agencies rely on meetings with industry and academic colleagues to drive innovation and ensure continued advancement in related fields. Each agency needs to focus any conference and travel spending on mission-critical activities and to ensure any related spending is an effective and efficient use of Federal funds."