ASAE Collaborates with Obama Administration on New Conference Guidance for Agencies

WASHINGTON—After meeting with ASAE in March, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week provided federal agencies with additional guidance on travel and conferences. ASAE worked with other associations to draft a protocol for conference planners to use in putting together meetings attended by federal employees. OMB adopted many of the protocol’s suggested best practices, such as hotel costs that are within government per diem rates and ensuring that social events held in conjunction with a conference aren’t lavish or excessive.

WASHINGTON—After meeting with ASAE in March, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week provided federal agencies with additional guidance on travel and conferences. ASAE worked with other associations to draft a protocol for conference planners to use in putting together meetings attended by federal employees. OMB adopted many of the protocol’s suggested best practices, such as hotel costs that are within government per diem rates and ensuring that social events held in conjunction with a conference aren’t lavish or excessive.

In the memo sent to agencies’ chief financial officers, OMB acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses. While the memo said that sequestration budget cuts will likely result in reduced government participation in conferences and travel, OMB stressed that federal agencies should not interpret any recent Administration guidance as a moratorium on travel or conference attendance.

“We are pleased to see the new guidance from OMB stressing the value of professional development and face-to-face meetings,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “ASAE and its members worked with OMB to suggest guidelines that would be beneficial for government employees, so they could attend association meetings for business purposes, for training, and to discover the latest trends occurring in the private sector. This is a great example of associations and government working together to develop guidelines, so both sectors can benefit from face-to-face meetings.”

Even though the guidance is issued to federal agencies, OMB and ASAE encourage association meeting professionals to consult the OMB guidance when planning conferences and events to increase the likelihood that federal employees can attend. In addition, these guidelines should be distributed by associations to their members who are employed in the federal government sector.

For more information on this issue, please contact ASAE’s Public Policy Department.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, [email protected], 202-326-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.