&EPA Committee on Integrity and  Management Improvement (CIMI)
                                                                                         Bulletin 95-4
                                                                                         EPA 350-F-95-002
                                                                                         May 1995
                                                                                             EPA REGION VII IRC
                                                                                                077290
                  Conferences  and   Meetings
    This Awareness Bulletin is intended to highlight EPA's
    policy on scheduling conferences and meetings. It
emphasizes the importance of site selection, and discusses
Agency policy for charging registration fees for attendance at
EPA-sponsored conferences and meetings.  These are high
profile activities at any agency, and we must ensure that strict
fiscal responsibility is exercised when selecting conference and
meeting sites. It is imperative that we avoid even the
appearance of improprieties in this area.

Background
It is widely recognized that well-planned and executed
conferences and meetings are an indispensable method of
conducting official business and achieving the Agency's
mission.  However, in an effort to reduce administrative
expenses, President Clinton singled out Government meetings
and conferences for close review. As a result, the Office of
Management and Budget issued OMB Bulletin 93-11,  dated
April 19, 1993, instructing agencies to keep conference costs to
a minimum and to document the alternatives considered and
rationale used in selecting conference sites. On September 14,
1994, the Agency issued Office of the Comptroller Policy
Announcement 94-10 to provide implementing guidance.

Guidelines
Justifications for conferences and meetings must indicate,
beyond reproach, that the sessions are mission-related and
cost-effective. To assist in this effort, the Agency has issued
the following guidelines regarding conferences and meetings:

   These events should be held, to the maximum extent
    possible, in or near EPA regional cities or major laboratory
    facilities (Headquarters is considered the same as a
    regional city for this purpose);

   Cost comparisons are particularly important for cities
    which could be construed as resort locations;
   The duration of these events and the number of
    participants should be limited to the minimum required to
    achieve the intended goal;

   Teleconferencing, video conferencing, and local training
    should be used whenever possible;

   Travel should be authorized on an individual basis to
    ensure that the number of participants is necessary and
    justified; and

   The cost comparisons for conferences and meetings
    involving travel by 30 or more people must be documented
    and the final site selection must be approved by the
    appropriate Assistant Administrator or Regional
    Administrator.

Common  Sense Considerations
There are many considerations in selecting the most
cost-effective conference location. In order to conduct a cost
analysis, it is necessary to obtain at least the following
information:

  1.   The number of people attending;

  2.   Where they are  coming from; and

  3.   How long they are staying.

The total major costs will primarily consist of travel and per
diem costs of the participants. Other less obvious costs to
consider in choosing a location are ground transportation
(getting to and from airports), fees for rental of meeting rooms
and audio-visual equipment, and parking costs. In developing
cost estimates, it is important to remember that the cost of each
item must be necessary and reasonable.
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Registration Fees
EPA policy states that organizations planning conferences and
meetings should budget for their costs and avoid establishing
registration fees, if possible.  If it is determined that registration
fees are necessary, they should only be used to cover
administrative costs, and not items of subsistence or per diem
which are reimbursable as ordinary travel expenses. Registration
fees must not include the cost of meals and items such as
entertainment, coffee, snacks, cocktails, and other similar items of
a refreshment nature.

Only expenses such as the costs of necessary supplies and
materials, printing, and renting of facilities and equipment can be
included in registration fees.  The fee charged should not exceed
the actual amount of these expenses, and the conference
coordinator is required to provide a receipt to each participant for
submission with the travel voucher.
Conclusion
A conference, meeting, and related travel can be authorized only if
it will provide a direct benefit to achieving EPA's mission. These
events must be carefully scrutinized to keep costs to a minimum,
and to prevent travel from being used as a "perk" or in lieu of
personal benefits, incentives, or rewards for past performance. In
addition, registration fees should only cover the actual costs of
allowable administrative items, and should never be used to make
a profit.

It is the responsibility of every EPA employee to ensure that travel
dollars for conferences and meetings are spent wisely, registration
fees are used properly, site selections are based on required cost
comparisons, and attendance is limited to the minimum necessary
for accomplishment of the Agency's mission.  For additional
information, please consult Office of the Comptroller Policy
Announcement 94-10, or contact your administrative officer or
servicing finance office.

If you know of or suspect any fraud, waste, or abuse pertaining to
conferences, meetings, related travel, or registration fees, please
contact the Office of Inspector General  (OIG) in Headquarters or
the nearest Divisional Office of Inspector General. A telephone
hotline number to the OIG is also available:  FTS (202) 260-4977
or toll free (800) 424-4000.  Information is confidential.

           As a step towards pollution prevention, one copy of this bulletin will be printed for every two
              employees. This publication is also available via the Agency LAN Services Menu under
                       "Information Services"; CIMI-Prevention of Fraud, Waste and Abuse.

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     Committee on Integrity and Management Improvement  (CIMI)
                       Customer Opinion Survey

 For the  past  ten years at  EPA,   the Committee on  Integrity and
 Management Improvement (CIMI) has been working to increase employee
 awareness  of   their   responsibilities   to  prevent  and  report
 indications  of  fraud,  waste  and mismanagement  in  the  Agency/s
 programs  and activities.   The committee, which is  comprised of
 senior  Headquarters   and regional  managers  and  chaired by  the
 Inspector  General,  produces  awareness  bulletins  and information
 leaflets  designed  to  highlight  agency  policy,  practices  and
 procedures.

 CIMI is  conducting  this survey  to  determine  your views on the
 usefulness of our products.  The survey  is in three sections.  The
 first  section  asks  general questions about CIMI publications; the
 second section asks  specific  questions  about  the  CIMI  awareness
 bulletin enclosed with this survey;  and  the third section asks for
 your input on potential  CIMI  projects.   Please  answer  questions as
 honestly as possible; all responses are  kept confidential.

:Please return the survey to Barbara Cobb  Mitchell, OIG/OM,  Mailcode
 2443,  401  M  Street SW,  Washington,  DC  20460 (or  fax to  202-260-
 6976)  by June  30, 1995.

 SECTION I  (Please check the  correct response)

 .1. '  Prior to  this survey,
     a.	 I had heard of CIMI and I knew what they  did.
     b.__  	 I had heard of CIMI but didn't know what  they did.
    . c.c	 I had never heard of CIMI.

 2.   Not including the attached bulletin, I have seen or  read
 .    a..	 5 or more CIMI publications.
     b._     '_ 1-4 CIMI publications.
     C.	 None. (If you checked "None", go to Section II)

 3.   Please list the title or subject of  any CIMI bulletins or leaflets you have
     read.
4.    Are you aware that CIMI documents are available on the Agency LAN?
   .   a.	 yes                              /
      b.	  no

5.    How did you obtain the bulletins/leaflets you have reviewed?  (Check all that
      apply)
      a.	 received a hardcopy in the mail.
      b.	 retrieved it from the LAN menu.
     . C.	 other 	\	.   	
                       (Please  indicate)

6.    How would you prefer to receive CIMI documents?
      a.	 in hardcopy form thru the mail.             ',
      b.	 via the LAN system
      c.         other
                        (Please indicate)

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SECTION II   (Please refer to the attached bulletin and check the correct response)

Title of Attached Bulletin	

7.    The subject of this awareness bulletin is
      a.	 very important to me as an EPA employee.
      b.___	 somewhat important to me as an EPA employee.
      c.	 not important to me as an EPA employee.

8.    Before reading the bulletin, I was
      a.	 very knowledgeable on this subject.
      b.	 somewhat knowledgeable.
      c.	 not knowledgeable at all.

9.   ; After reading the awareness bulletin, I have
      a.	 more understanding of this subject.
      b.	 the same understanding of this subject.
      c.	 less understanding of this subject.

10.'   Did you  know how  to  find  out  information on  this subject  prior to  this
      bulletin?
11.   What did you like most about the bulletin?
12.   What did you like least about the bulletin?
SECTION III  (Please provide answers  to  the questions below) .

13.   What topics would you like future CIMl documents to address?
14.   Do you have any other comments, suggestions or questions for the Committee on
      Integrity and Management Improvement?
BACKGROUND   (This  information  is to assist us in analyzing the responses.
             check  the  correct  response.)
                                                                      Please
15.
16,
17.
18,
      I am a
      a.	
      b.
           Headquarters employee.
           Regional employee.
 I have been employed by EPA for
 a.	 more than 7 years
 b.	 3-6 years
 c.	 less than 3 years
My position is primarily described as
 a.   	 Management/Supervisor
      	 Professional/Technical
            Administrative
     ' b.
       
I am in Grade
      a.
      b."
            GS 12 or above
            GS 11 or below
19.  Date you are responding to this survey_

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