[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 80 (Wednesday, April 26, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24597-24598]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-3931]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 301-51 and 301-74

[FTR Amendment 2006-02; FTR Case 2006-302]
RIN 3090-AI23


Federal Travel Regulation; Conference Planning--Prepayment of 
Registration Fee

AGENCY: Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services 
Administration (GSA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) by 
clarifying that advance payment of discounted conference fees may be 
treated as an allowable travel advance, and by adding a new section to 
allow for the reimbursement of the prepayment of ``early bird'' 
discounted registration fees to attend a conference or training 
seminar. This clarification is added to allow agencies to take 
advantage of discounted ``early bird'' registration discounts, thereby 
saving Government funds. The FTR and any corresponding documents may be 
accessed at GSA's website at http://www.gsa.gov/ftr.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This final rule is effective April 26, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Regulatory Secretariat, Room 4035, 
GS Building, Washington, DC, 20405, (202) 208-7312, for information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of 
content, contact Umeki Thorne, Office of Governmentwide Policy, email 
umeki.thorne@gsa.gov or by telephone at (202) 208-7636. Please cite FTR 
Amendment 2006-02; FTR case 2006-302.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    When planning a conference, it is a general practice to offer 
discounted ``early bird'' registration fees, which are available in the 
months prior to the beginning of the conference. However, many 
travelers have expressed reluctance over taking advantage of such 
offers because of the belief that they cannot claim reimbursement until 
the conference is over, and they file their travel claims. To take 
advantage of such specials, agencies may authorize travelers to charge 
such fees to their individually billed Government sponsored travel 
cards. Accordingly, this final rule clarifies that authorized travelers 
are allowed to register early and claim reimbursement for the 
discounted registration fee as soon as their agencies have approved 
their attendance at the conference. This final rule also addresses the 
situations when the traveler fails to attend the conference and 
identifies the circumstances under which the traveler might have to 
repay the agency for the registration fee.

B. Executive Order 12886

    This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This final 
rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule is not required to be published in the Federal 
Register for notice and comment; therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., does not apply.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to 
the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) do not impose recordkeeping or 
information collection requirements, or the collection of information 
from offerors, contractors, or members of the public which require the 
approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 
3501, et seq.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This final rule is also exempt from congressional review prescribed 
under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management and 
personnel.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 301-51 and 301-74

    Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.

    Dated: March 7, 2006.
David L. Bibb,
Acting Administrator for General Services.

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under 5 U.S.C. 5701-5709, 
the General Services Administration (GSA) amends 41 CFR parts 301-51 
and 301-74 as set forth below:

PART 301-51--PAYING TRAVEL EXPENSES

0
1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-51 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707. Subpart A is issued under the 
authority of Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105--264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 
note); 40 U.S.C. 121(c).

[[Page 24598]]

Sec.  301-51.200  [Amended]

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2. Amend section 301-51.200, paragraph (b), column one, by adding ``, 
advance payment of discounted conference registration fee'' after 
``common carrier''.

PART 301-74--CONFERENCE PLANNING

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3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-74 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707.
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4. Sections 301-74.25 and 301-74.26 are added to read as follows:


Sec.  301-74.25  May we reimburse travelers for an advanced payment of 
a conference or training registration fee?

    Yes, you may reimburse travelers for an advanced discounted payment 
for a conference or training registration fee as soon as you have 
approved their travel to that event, and they submit a proper claim for 
the expenses incurred.


Sec.  301-74.26  What is the traveler required to do if he/she is 
unable to attend an event for which they were reimbursed for an 
advanced discounted payment of a conference or training registration 
fee?

    In all cases where a traveler is unable to attend an event for 
which a discounted registration fee was paid and reimbursed in advance 
of the event, the traveler must seek a refund of the registration fee 
and repay the agency with any refund received. If no refund is made, 
the agency must absorb the advanced payment if the traveler's failure 
to attend the event was caused either by an agency decision or for 
reasons beyond the employee's control that are acceptable to the 
agency, e.g., unforeseen illness or emergency. If no refund is made, 
and the traveler's failure to attend the scheduled event is due to 
reasons deemed unexcusable by the agency, the traveler must repay the 
agency for the amount advanced.
[FR Doc. 06-3931 Filed 4-25-06; 8:45 am]
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