Travel Industry to Congress: GSA Conference Issue is About Poor Decision Making
Focus Should be on Encouraging Responsible Government Travel
April 20, 2012
Washington, DC - The U.S. Travel Association today encouraged Congress to respond to an irresponsible 2010 General Services Administration (GSA) conference by holding accountable the federal employees that planned the event. The statement comes after Senator Rand Paul asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate all government conferences held in Las Vegas, NV.
“Any Member of Congress who thinks this issue is about a particular destination is missing the forest for the trees,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Anytime, or in anyplace, that federal officials spend taxpayer dollars irresponsibly, it is an affront to the American people and the hardworking men and women of the travel industry. Congress should hold accountable those individuals who choose to flout the federal travel rules and regulations, and strengthen oversight so those rules are followed in every part of the United States.”
Dow also noted that the federal government should conduct travel on the basis of necessity, cost and value provided to the taxpayer, which would not exclude any destination in the country from receiving government business.
“If Congress is serious about curbing wasteful government spending, they should encourage federal employees to seek the best value when traveling and to follow the rules when doing so,” said Dow. “Responsible and cost-effective government travel is a must, no matter where it occurs. Excessive government spending is wrong, no matter where it occurs. Congress should consider nothing else beyond these two principles when dealing with this issue – or they risk ostracizing one group of hardworking Americans in favor of another.”
Cathy Keefe (202) 408-2183
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non- profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.