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OMB Issues Guidance on Government Spending for Travel and Conferences

Document Finds Funds Related to Standards Activities Can Constitute Approved Expenses

New York, Jun 17, 2013

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued a document providing guidance on U.S. federal government spending for conferences and travel in light of the ongoing federal budget sequester. In the document, titled Controller Alert: Travel and Conferences, the OMB has listed standards-setting work as one of a number of activities that are an appropriate use of limited funds and should continue to be supported as long as the activities in question are part of a given agency’s critical work.

The unique nature of the U.S. standards process relies heavily on government experts working closely with representatives of industry, academia, nonprofit groups, and other important stakeholders to develop the effective, flexible standards that support continued U.S. innovation and economic growth. This clarification provides reassurance to members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Federation and the larger standardization community that the sequester will not halt the involvement of government employees and officials in the U.S. voluntary consensus standardization process.

Triggered by provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011, the sequester was implemented on March 1, 2013. Since then, the Obama administration has significantly diminished normal spending on conferences for agencies and other groups overseen by the executive branch, with the goal of ensuring that all such expenses are used to support essential government work in a cost-effective manner.

To read the full OMB document, click here.

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