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Legislation Would Cut Feds' Travel Expenses With Videoconferencing

July 12, 2013 | Telepresence Options

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Story by Frank Konkel / FCW

New legislation introduced in the House of Representatives July 10 aims to significantly cut the $15 billion in travel expenses incurred annually by federal agencies through the increased use of videoconferencing.

H.R. 2643, introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, (R-Pa.), would call on the director of the Office of Management and Budget to develop a plan to reduce the federal government's travel expenditures by as much as is feasible, with the stated goal of spending 50 percent less on agency travel in 2017 than it does now. The bill is titled the "Cut the Waste, Stay in Place Act of 2013."

The bill incorporates aspects of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, Executive Order 13589 and OMB's 12-12-12 memorandum, which already calls for agencies to reduce travel expenditures by 30 percent compared to 2010 levels. The government currently spends billions annually on travel to conferences, training programs, meetings and court, the bill states, but videoconferencing remains a "largely untapped means of saving taxpayer dollars."

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