The economic and performance benefits to the government from participation in business meetings and conferences got a boost from a hearing by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) travel practices.
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association complemented the SubCommittee and DHS. U.S. Travel’s comments to underscore the great importance of government travel that impacts all sectors of the industry. Attendance at business meetings and conventions by government officials came under fire last year.
"We applaud Chairman Carney, Ranking Member Bilirakis, and other members of the subcommittee for affirming the economic and performance benefits to the government from participation in business meetings and conferences,” Dow said. “A recent Oxford Economics study on the return on investment of government-related travel demonstrated that an increase in government business travel spending of $1 million will increase government worker productivity and therefore output by between $4.6 million and $6.3 million.
"As the DHS Inspector General report discussed at today's hearing notes, conferences and related travel are important to enhancing government operations, though 'DHS must provide assurance that it is a responsible steward of public funds,' " Dow continued. "We agree that effective management of resources dedicated for conferences and events will help to maximize each trip taken and is important for government agencies to evaluate the return on investment. We're heartened to know the Department of Homeland Security has accepted the Inspector General's recommendations and is making every effort to instill greater accountability where necessary in its future travel practices."