FY 2017 Annual Conference Report

Speeches Shim

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 by January 31 of each year. This report provides a summary of expenses incurred by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for conferences held during fiscal year 2017, 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 conference policy documents the review process for conference expenses, including the following approval requirements:

  • The Deputy Administrator must approve estimated expenditures that are greater than $100,000 up to 500,000 for both internal and external conferences;
  • The Assistant Administrator for Management (AA/M) approves expenditures for internal and external conferences with estimated costs of $100,000 or less; and
  • The Administrator must approve expenditures and provide a waiver for estimated expenditures over $500,000.


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 $5.8 million during fiscal year 2017. Twenty-nine of these conferences were directly sponsored by USAID with a total estimated cost of $5 million. A total of 1,747 USAID employees participated in these events, along with 2,763 outside participants. Additionally, 243 USAID employees attended 59 conferences not directly supported by USAID during the reporting period at a total estimated cost of $729,869. The average cost per participant for all conferences was $1,914.

USAID sponsored 18 conferences with expenses in excess of $100,000, 16 of which were technical events that supported the implementation of development programs. Per Memorandum M‐17-08, additional information is provided below on these conferences. M‐17-08 also requires that agencies publish a waiver signed by the agency head to incur expenses exceeding $500,000 on a single conference. USAID did not sponsor a conference that exceeded this threshold during Fiscal Year 2017.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 3:15pm