Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-12-12
Under the Agricultural Travel Regulation, Agency administrators review the proposed conference in light of outreach, programmatic, and employee development needs to determine if a conference is justified. Once the administrator approves the conference, it is forwarded for further review if it exceeds $40,000 to the respective Under Secretary or Assistant Secretary. If the conference is projected to exceed $75,000 the conference is reviewed by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The procedures were amended in response to guidance from the Office of Management and Budget to require review by the Deputy Secretary for events costing more than $100,000 and review by the Secretary for events exceeding $500,000.
USDA has worked diligently since 2011 to reduce travel spending. Secretary Vilsack established a total travel cost reduction goal of 20% for 2011 and travel costs were reduced by 27%. These reductions were continued in 2012, and USDA has reduced travel costs by approximately 42% from 2010 levels. Discretionary travel decreased from $307 million in 2010 to $178 million in 2012. USDA remains focused on using creative strategies and new technology to accomplish initiatives that previously required travel.
Per OMB Memorandum M-12-12, below is a list of agency-sponsored conferences that are greater than $100,000.
2012 USDA Agency-Sponsored Conferences Over $100,000
|CONFERENCE NAME||AGENCY||LOCATION||START DATE||END DATE||PARTICIPANTS||GRAND TOTAL||JUSTIFICATION|
|STRATEGIC PLANNING CONFERENCE||FSA||ATLANTA, GA||10/31/2011||11/4/2011||187||226,778.00||MEETING BROUGHT TOGETHER FARM SERVICE AGENCY EMPLOYEES TO STRATEGIZE MANAGING THE GROWING LOAN PROGRAM WHILE FACING A SIGNIFICANT RESOURCE REDUCTION. THE ATTENDEES INCLUDED FARM SERVICE AGENCY NATIONAL OFFICE LEADERSHIP, STATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS, FARM LOAN CHIEFS AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS FROM EACH STATE.|
|AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK FORUM||MULTIPLE AGENCIES||ARLINGTON, VA||2/23/2012||2/24/2012||794||136,126.00||FORUM WAS AN EVENT THAT PROVIDED LEADERSHIP BY BRINGING TOGETHER THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY TO DISCUSS POLICY, SCIENCE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR THE COMING YEAR. THE SPONSORING AGENCIES WORKED TOGETHER TO DETERMINE CURRENT ISSUES FACING AGRICULTURE AND HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE ISSUES AND ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS RAISED.|
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