The U.S. House of Representative's passage of the Government Spending Accountability (GSA) Act of 2013 ( H.R. 313) will inadvertently reduce federal efficiency and productivity by cutting travel budgets, says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
"The GSA Act is an unnecessary and counterproductive measure that inadvertently reduces federal efficiency and productivity and restricts important government functions. Federal agencies are already adhering to stringent guidelines put in place last year by Congress and the Administration to prevent unethical spending on government conferences. This is a bill in search of problem that has already been addressed," Dow said in a statement.
"What's more, by deeply cutting federal travel budgets and capping conference spending at unrealistically low levels, the bill could increase costs to taxpayers in the long run, as detailed in a new U.S. Travel study," Dow said.
"Travel for meetings and events is a proven tool to help government employees do their jobs more effectively, which in turn, benefits American taxpayers. Travel is a tool of productivity, which federal policies should support, not undercut," Dow said. "Rhetorically, few could argue with the goal of curbing abuses. Substantively, however, we must take great care not to create more problems than we solve. Striking the right balance is the key."
"We look forward to working with Members of Congress to maintain adequate oversight over government travel for meetings and events while ensuring travel is not unnecessarily restricted," Dow said.