Rep. Paulsen introduces legislation to increase transparency of agency employee conferences

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NEWS RELEASE — Washington, D.C. – Third District U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) released a statement after joining Ron Kind (D-WI) in introducing bipartisan legislation aimed at increasing the transparency, accountability, and fiscal restraint of federal agency conferences.

The Transparency Requirements for Agency Conferences and Events (TRACE) Act will increase the accountability of federal agencies by requiring a comprehensive report detailing the costs associated with an agency’s involvement in all conferences, retreats, seminars or other such events.

“All taxpayers have a right to know where their hard-earned dollars are going,” said Rep. Paulsen. “It is deeply upsetting to know that some agencies are spending taxpayer money on excessive conferences when so many families across the country struggle to make ends meet. Through the TRACE act, we will ensure federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars as wisely as Minnesota families do. As part of the larger effort to rein in wasteful government spending and address our national deficit, this bill plays an important role in bringing much needed accountability and transparency to government.”

The TRACE Act requires a detailed statement of all the costs of attending or hosting the conference, the names of keynote speakers, a list of conference attendees, the conference location and itinerary, and a summary of the purposes and goals of the event.

This information must be made public 30 days before a conference begins. By promoting increased transparency, this bill will greatly reduce unnecessary spending by federal agencies and discourage conferences that do not have valid civic purposes.

Paulsen, a champion of small business and advocate of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, and is co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus.

For more information on Rep. Paulsen’s work in Congress visit


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