Determination of a Conference
The DoD Conference Guidance states "'Conference' is defined in the Joint Travel Regulations as, "[a] meeting, retreat, seminar, symposium, or event that involves attendee travel. The term 'conference' also applies to training activities that are considered to be conferences under 5 CFR 410.404." "Conferences subject to DoD Conference Guidelines are also often referred to by names other than 'conference' such as... "conventions, expositions, symposiums, seminars, workshops, or exhibitions. They typically involve topical matters of interest to, and the participation of, multiple agencies and/or non-governmental participants. Indicia of a formal conference often include but are not limited to registration, registration fees, a published substantive agenda, and scheduled speakers or discussion panels." "Events within the local duty location that do not require travel authorization may also qualify as a conference for the purposes of this guidance."
As noted by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in his memorandum Updated DoD Conference Guidance Sept 23, 2015 , the "Secretaries of the Military Departments and Heads of other DoD Components retain the authority to impose more stringent conditions or approval requirements on particular categories of conferences that they have determined to be subject to abuse. However, such conditions or requirements must not unduly burden routine participation by DoD employees in conferences that are appropriately related to the performance of their official duties."
USUHS Attendance Requests ( based on DoD Conference Guidance Version 3.0 September 23, 2015)
With release of the new guidance September 23, 2015, the requirement that USUHS Responsibility Centers submit to the USU Front Office a quarterly spreadsheet listing each individual attending a conference is discontinued.
The Deputy Secretary of Defense in his memorandum Updated DoD Conference Guidance Sept 23, 2015 stated "The requirement to track attendance at conferences not hosted or sponsored by DoD in advance is eliminated in all cases except where the approving official has reason to believe that a conference will cost more than $100,000, and approval authority for attendance at such conferences is delegated to the lowest appropriate level as follows: (1) supervisors with Temporary Duty authority for conferences costing less than $3,000 per attendee and less than $600 per day per attendee; and (2) supervisors one level up, at a grade of 0-5 or GS-14 (or equivalent) for conferences costing $3,000 or more per attendee or $600 or more per day per attendee. In each case, the approving authority is responsible for determining that conference attendance is appropriately related to the performance of the DoD attendee's official duties and that the expense of attendance is justified on that basis."
Conference Attendance Guidance
"Conference attendance by an employee or a military member is subject to a determination by the relevant approving authority that such attendance is appropriately related to the performance of the employee's/military member's official duties and that the expense of attendance is justified on that basis. When making conference approval decisions, approval officials must confirm that physical co-location of DoD personnel in a conference setting is beneficial and cost-effective and consider alternative means of delivering the relevant information, including usage of remote collaboration tools (e.g., teleconferencing, videoconferencing, webinars, online sharing applications) and other real-time communication methods that would mitigate the need for physical co-location of DoD personnel."