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Exhibit 1: Conference Spending Provisions of the HHS Appropriations Act

The following requirements were enacted in Section 3003 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, and Section 119 of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014; and are expected to continue and be enforced in subsequent Fiscal Years:

“(a) The head of any Executive branch department, agency, board, commission, or office funded by this or any other appropriations Act shall submit annual reports to the Inspector General or senior ethics official for any entity without an Inspector General, regarding the costs and contracting procedures related to each conference held by any such department, agency, board, commission, or office during fiscal year 2013 (and 2014) for which the cost to the United States Government was more than $100,000.

“(b) Each report submitted shall include, for each conference described in subsection (a) held during the applicable period—

(1) a description of its purpose;

(2) the number of participants attending;

(3) a detailed statement of the costs to the United States Government, including — (A) the cost of any food or beverages; (B) the cost of any audio-visual services; (C) the cost of employee or contractor travel to and from the conference; and (D) a discussion of the methodology used to determine which costs relate to the conference; and

(4) a description of the contracting procedures used including — (A) whether contracts were awarded on a competitive basis; and (B) a discussion of any cost comparison conducted by the departmental component or office in evaluating potential contractors for the conference.

“(c) Within 15 days of the date of a conference held by any Executive branch department, agency, board, commission, or office funded by this or any other appropriations Act during fiscal year 2013 (and 2014) for which the cost to the United States Government was more than $20,000, the head of any such department, agency, board, commission, or office shall notify the Inspector General or senior ethics official for any entity without an Inspector General, of the date, location, and number of employees attending such conference.

“(d) A grant or contract funded by amounts appropriated by this or any other appropriations Act to an Executive branch agency may not be used for the purpose of defraying the costs of a conference described in subsection (c) that is not directly and programmatically related to the purpose for which the grant or contract was awarded, such as a conference held in connection with planning, training, assessment, review, or other routine purposes related to a project funded by the grant or contract.

“(e) None of the funds made available in this or any other appropriations Act may be used for travel and conference activities that are not in compliance with Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M–12–12 dated May 11, 2012.”

The following outlines the policy implications of these provisions:

  • Sub-Sections (a) and (b) require additional annual reporting requirements, which are addressed in Section 1.4 B of the policy.
  • Sub-Section (c) requires on-going reporting as described in Section 1.4 A and Exhibit 3 of the Policy. 
  • Sub-Section (d) reminds OPDIVs and STAFFDIVs that agencies may not use a grant or contract for the purpose of defraying the costs of an HHS conference unless such conference is directly and programmatically related to the purpose for which the grant or contract was awarded.

Sub-Section (e) restricts the use of funds appropriated in the HHS Appropriations Acts, beginning with FY2013, for travel and conference activities unless they are consistent with OMB Memorandum M-12-12, and thus, makes it an Antideficiency Act (ADA) violation to use any HHS funds for travel and conferences that are inconsistent with OMB Memorandum M-12-12.

 


Related Documents

HHS Policy on Promoting Efficient Spending (December 16, 2013): Use of Appropriated Funds for Conferences and Meetings, Food, Promotional Items, and Printing and Publications