February 19, 2014
Travel spending drops 18 percent in 2013
Federal travel spending fell 18 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013 — from $8.5 billion to about $6.9 billion — and 2014 is shaping up to see even deeper cuts, according to federal data.
Travel spending in fiscal 2014 is already down about 33 percent from the same time last year at $890 million, compared to $1.3 billion, as measured by data from the General Services Administration’s SmartPay charge card program, which covers more than 2.5 million card holders across the government.
As examples of the cutbacks, GSA has canceled, for the second year, its annual Expo conference and has transitioned its SmartPay training forum into a virtual format, citing continued low levels of spending on travels and conferences.
Frank Benenati, spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, said part of the drop can be attributed to agencies rethinking how and where to have conferences and by using technology to reduce the need for travel. “Agencies will continue to identify savings moving forward, while balancing the need for conferences and travel,” Benenati said.