Government Waste

New Bill Looks to Rein in Fancy Federal Conferences

No more crazy expenditures


A new bill may be a buzzkill for the GSA, IRS, and other federal agencies: The extravagent conferences, the swanky digs, and the costly training videos may be coming to an end.

After news of lavish conferences held by various departments in recent years, representatives congressmen Erik Paulsen (R., Minn.) and Ron Kind (D., Wis.) have introduced the Transparency Requirements for Agency Conferences and Events (TRACE) Act this week. The bipartisan legislation would require detailed information about a conference's costs, speakers, attendees, itinerary, and evidence that it meets "valid civic purposes" at least a month before it begins. The information would be made public with the goal of reining in excessive spending on the events.