Within DOE/NNSA, travel funds for lab, plant, and support contractors flow pretty easily; however, for government employees travel budgets are greatly restricted, as they require the use of very limited "Program Direction" funds. Many times it is easier to schedule a meeting in DC (where costs are high), with a large number of people traveling from the national labs and/or plants, rather than utilizing a more central location (i.e., at one of the labs or plants) to reduce the number of people traveling and associated costs. If it were possible for federal employees to use "Program" funds or if some other exception were availed, specifically for the purpose of reducing overall expenses, DOE/NNSA could greatly reduce travel costs and improve overall productivity.
Idea No. 13667