Conferences play an important role in advancing the Department of Energy's (DOE) priorities by providing opportunities for collaboration with academia, the scientific community, and other stakeholders on our national security, environment, energy, and science missions. While conferences serve a valuable purpose, DOE continues to manage conference activity in a cost-effective manner that demonstrates responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

To ensure costs were appropriately controlled when sponsoring or approving participation in a conference, DOE confirmed that all conference activity supported the Department's mission, costs were minimized, and conference planners, sponsors, and attendees understood their responsibility to conserve funds. The Department adhered to widely-accepted cost control measures such as ensuring conference attendance was necessary, encouraging the use of Federal Facilities, consolidation of conferences, limitation of food and beverage, early planning, exploring the feasibility of conducting virtual conferences, adhering to government travel restrictions due to COVID-19, and selection of dates and location based on the lowest available costs that met the mission need of the conference. DOE also ensured that their Management and Operating contractors were taking appropriate measures to reduce costs.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, five Program Offices within the Department hosted a total of nine Agency-Sponsored reportable conferences, a decrease in conference activity from FY 2019, primarily as a result of travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

DOE Report of Conference Activities throughout FY20.