It looks like the industry is welcoming the U.S. Department of Treasury's new rules regarding meeting, event, incentive and travel expenses for TARP companies.
"We are pleased that after months of discussion with the Obama Administration and our industry's full-court press on the value of meetings, events and incentives, these regulations do not do any further harm to the meetings and events marketplace," U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in response to the new guidelines, which were released last week. Even for companies not receiving TARP funds, the guidelines act as "reminder to companies everywhere that transparent and responsible board policies governing business meetings and events are more important now than ever."
The guidelines, among other things, requires that TARP companies adopt an "excessive or luxury expenditures policy" that includes "standards to ensure appropriate review and approval of potentially excessive and luxury expenditures." These expenditures could include "entertainment or events, office and facility renovations, aviation or other transportation services, and other similar items, activities or events."
The Treasury's proposed rule, which is subject to a public 60-day comment period, requires TARP beneficiaries to identify categories of expenditures that are prohibited; identify categories of expenditures that need approval; set up approval procedures; require reporting of violations to a designated person; and "mandate accountability for adherence" to the policy.
NBTA President Kevin Maguire expressed a similar sentiment as Dow in regards to the policy.
"NBTA is pleased that Treasury has pointed to travel management as a tool to contain costs and ensure efficient and effective corporate travel and practices," he said in a statement.