Earlier this Summer, the General Services Administration (GSA) established a Government Travel Advisory Committee (GTAC) tasked with reviewing existing travel policies, processes, and procedures that are accountable and transparent to the tax paying public. Their topics will cover everything from the well documented per diem methodology to ideas for how to aid in meeting agency missions in an effective and efficient manner at the lowest logical travel cost. Through their review processes, the GTAC will address current industry and Federal travel trends and provide advice and recommendations for improvements to increase travel efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs, promote sustainability, and incorporate industry best practices.
It’s both appropriate and ironic that the very agency whose missteps put government travel on the front page of the Washington Post and under unprecedented and often unfair scrutiny, is also the agency at the forefront of these topical discussions. But it’s a very welcomed and very necessary step towards correcting the issues at hand and toward possibly rectifying and redirecting an industry whose existence is being threatened daily.
The efforts of the GTAC along with continued and steady education and support from organizations like the US Travel Association and even the Society of Government Meeting Professionals are all we can rely on right now to right this ship. I ask that the public pay close attention to the products of their discussions, to the ensuing reports and studies which will follow, and take heed of the effects on industry that subtracting government meetings entirely would surely have before casting a wide net of devastating cuts. I look forward to helping in any way that I can in getting our industry’s reputation and buying power back on track.