The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-17-08 amending M-12-12, Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations, directs agencies to report conference expenses for the previous fiscal year on their public websites. This report provides a summary of expenses incurred by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for conferences held during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, along with more detailed information on conferences where the net expenses associated with the event exceeded $100,000.
USAID has implemented comprehensive policies and other controls to mitigate the risk of inappropriate spending on conferences. The Agency’s corporate conference approval and tracking system captures requests for conference approvals and facilitates senior management review and approval of conference expenditures. A chapter on conference planning and attendance is included in the Automated Directives System (ADS Chapter 580 Conference Planning and Attendance), which is available to the public and USAID staff worldwide. The Agency’s review of conference expenditures ensures compliance with Agency and Federal policies. Conferences must support the achievement of the Agency’s core development or management objectives and/or provide critical training relevant to the work of Agency employees.
USAID incurred conference expenses of $4,321,690 during FY 2020. A total of 1,499 USAID employees participated in these events, along with 1,146 outside participants. USAID directly sponsored 16 of these conferences with a total estimated cost of $3,566,581. Additionally, 215 USAID employees attended 43 conferences not directly supported by USAID during the reporting period at a total estimated cost of $755,109. The average cost per participant for all conferences was $1,634.
USAID sponsored nine conferences with expenses in excess of $100,000. Per Memorandum M17-08, additional information is provided on these conferences. M-17-08 also requires that agencies publish the rationale and approval to incur expenses exceeding $500,000 on a single conference. USAID did not sponsor conferences that exceeded this threshold during FY 2020.