ARSA, Associations Educate Congress About Proposed Federal Employee Travel Restrictions
ARSA recently joined nearly a thousand organizations urging Congress to modify proposals that would severely restrict government employee attendance at meetings and conferences hosted by associations. As drafted, the language would limit federal employees from participating at more than one conference or meeting hosted per non-federal organization per year.
The letter asked Congress to change the definition of a “conference” to apply only to government-sponsored meetings and to strike a provision restricting agencies from attending more than one conference held by a private organization per fiscal year.
“The dialogue that takes place at these meetings between government and the private sector is essential to the development of informed policymaking that facilitates economic growth and job creation,” the cosigners asserted.
The proposal, advanced as amendments to two separate bills passed by the House and Senate (the Digital Accountability & Transparency Act (DATA Act) (H.R. 2146) and the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789)), were in response to the scandal involving the General Services Administration, which spent extraordinary amounts of money on lavish conferences.
ARSA regularly invites government employees to events like the Annual Repair Symposium. Any limitations on regulator attendance at these educational conferences would deprive regulators from using the Association as an important resource and deny ARSA members the opportunity to engage with government officials.
Be sure to visit ARSAaction.org to encourage your lawmakers to support efforts to foster government and industry communication and reject arbitrary limits on government attendance at non-federal conferences.
~~~ posted 6/12/12 ~~~