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Report: Agencies spent $268 million on conferences last year

Feb. 27, 2013 - 12:32PM   |  
By STEVEN WATKINS   |   Comments
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. (AFP)

Agencies hosted or attended 767 large conferences at a cost of $268 million last year, according to new federal data released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Leading the list of agencies that attended or hosted conferences that cost taxpayers more than $100,000 was the Defense Department, with 295 conferences at a total cost of $89 million, according to the data. The Health and Human Services Department was next with 140 conferences at a cost of $56 million.

Other departments that spent large amounts on conferences:

• Justice Department attended 107 conferences for a cost of $59 million.

• Department of Homeland Security attended 35 conferences for a cost of $8 million.

• Interior Department attended 32 conferences for a cost of $8 million.

The Commerce Department also spent more than $8 million on conferences, but the committee’s data did not say how many conferences were attended.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a Feb. 27 release that total federal travel last year cost $14.8 billion, citing Office of Management and Budget figures.

Travel for non-Defense agencies nearly doubled — from $3 billion to $5.8 billion — in the period from 2001 to 2012, while Defense Department travel increased during that period by roughly 50 percent, from $6 billion to $9 billion, the committee said.

The committee plans to hold a hearing Wednesday on waste and mismanagement in federal travel spending.

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