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The Buzz: Interior Department audit tells officials to use video to save on Sacramento travel

December 28, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
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December 26, 2011 by Michael Doyle via SacBee.com -- Sacramento is among the popular destinations for Interior Department officials who could save millions by video conferencing instead of frequent-flying, a new report says.

Cutting short-term travel by even 10 percent could save the department -- which runs national parks as well as Western water projects -- some $4.2 million a year, auditors estimate. The less workers travel, the more they should save.

"The department has the opportunity to achieve significant reductions in travel with the increased use of (video conferencing) technology," the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General noted in the report, issued last week. Certain cities seem ripe for savings, even as department officials caution that sometimes there's no substitute for a face-to-face meeting.

Officials, for instance, beat a steady path between Sacramento and Denver. Total travel costs reached $287,796 for 329 trips taken between the two cities in fiscal 2009.

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