Federal employees and contractors say that travel restrictions will harm best practices and collaboration between government and industry, according to a survey released Tuesday.
About 62 percent believe they will have problems maintaining best practices while 72 percent believe collaboration between government and industry will suffer, according to a survey of 544 federal employees and contractors by research firm Market Connections and communications firm Boscobel Marketing Communications.
The travel restrictions were in response to an April 2012 inspector general report that detailed a 2010 General Services Administration conference that cost $823,000 and forced out the agency’s top leaders.
In May 2012, OMB released a memo directing agencies to reduce travel spending by 30 percent compared with 2010 levels and to maintain those levels through 2016. Agencies also have to report annually on any conference spending in excess of $100,000, and employees must seek senior management approval for conference spending.
“Government employees are aware of the impact that budget constraints and travel restrictions are having on their ability to stay current on trends and knowledge. They see collaboration opportunities diminishing, and anticipate long-term effects to their agencies, technology and innovation in government,” said Joyce Bosc, president of Boscobel Marketing Communications.
About half of contractors plan to reduce their own travel spending as a result of decreased federal travel, according to the survey.
“It is clear that event cancellations and travel restrictions present barriers for government and industry collaboration and may threaten innovation in government,” said Lisa Dezzutti, president and CEO of Market Connections Inc.