Due to recent fallout over excessive travel and expense expenditures, Congress has voted to cut and freeze further government travel spending for the next 5 years. Cutting the fat out of government agency budgets has been on the minds of voters and politicians alike, which means shoring up federal expense management is on the list of priorities. While a little austerity probably isn’t a bad idea for a government that is stretched for cash, travel agents and other associated businesses are bracing for the potential impact.
Travel Weekly reports that Congress intends to freeze travel spending at 80% of 2010 levels for the next 5 years. As though to illustrate how serious they are about cutting spending, the GSA has backed out of its support for the annual National Travel Forum, prompting the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) to cancel the event.
“Now, more than ever, the American people demand real accountability of how their tax dollars are being spent. It’s clear from our investigation into GSA’s lavish conference spending that accountability and increased transparency is needed. Through the bipartisan DATA Act, we can improve our oversight of federal funds by mandating clear, consistent reporting standards,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) commented about the incoming changes.
Improving standards and automating outdated manual processes through expense management software, invoice management and other methods is helping the government deflate bloated budgets while increasing productivity. Several agencies have already seen savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars through various automation initiatives. Hopefully that success will promote automated solutions as a means to get more government agencies in line with their budgets and operating more efficiently.