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Meetings and Events Industry Urges Caution in Response to IRS IG Report

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CIC has been actively engaged, along with its members, to tamp down any fallout from the IRS meetings scandal, and recently urged Congress to have a measured response to the report. The strategy seemed to be effective and, at the hearings held as a result, the questioning centered on the unwise spending and not on whether the meeting should have been held in the first place. Following is the statement developed by the CIC Crisis Communications Management Team, which many CIC members used in their communications out to their members and in the press.

Government participation in business meetings is essential because it fosters effective regulation, contributes to innovation that drives economic growth, and provides unique learning and training opportunities.

While the meetings industry is disappointed by the IG report, it’s important that everyone view the report in the proper context and remember the vital role that government participation in business meetings plays in fostering effective regulation, contributing to innovation that drives economic growth, and providing essential learning and training opportunities.

Congress and the Obama administration should carry out a measured and appropriate response that increases oversight, but does not discourage productive travel from taking place.

The meetings industry has been an active participant in the development of best practices and new guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses.

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP is the Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Industry Council.

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