Federal Agencies Frown on Fancy Resorts for Conferences

Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Justice have policies against using them.


Oceanfront working vacations might be OK for President Obama and Republican fat cats, but image-conscious federal agencies are choosing cheaper conference centers over ritzy resorts. The GAO tells us that three cabinet agencies--Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Justice--have travel and conference policies that frown on using resorts, even when cheaper. And one, VA, has moved a big conference from a resort to another location "to avoid potential negative perceptions."

The GAO didn't give any numbers and there is no rule against using fancy resorts, but Uncle Sam's auditor did find a trend: Even when a resort was the better, more cost-effective location, federal managers opted for the lower-budget choice.

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