Congressman Chuck Fleischmann introduced the Agency Conferences and Conventions Operating Under Necessary Transparency (ACCOUNT) Act. The legislation was introduced in response to the lavish conferences hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA).
"Under the ACCOUNT Act, the days of extravagant government conferences will quickly come to an end. The ACCOUNT Act takes several steps to introduce transparency into the conference expenses of federal agencies. By requiring the head of the agency to approve conferences, posting expenses in writing, and requiring the submission of an annual report to Congress, the ACCOUNT Act will ensure that conferences are focused on core functions of executive agencies, and are careful with our tax dollars," Fleischmann said.
Under the ACCOUNT Act, a conference that spends more than $25,000 must be certified by the head of the agency as necessary to agency's core function. Details of the conference must be posted on the agency website within 30 days after the conference, including a summary of the purpose of the conference, total cost and cost per employee attending. Finally, each agency would be required to submit an annual report on their conference activities to the relevant Congressional committee for the fiscal year. The armed forces, federal law enforcement, and conferences of a classified nature are exempt from this requirement in order not to compromise national security.