Dear Conference Attendees,
We have had to cancel our conference due to the VA's restrictions on travel. It's a long story, but here is a quick version of what happened.
Over the past year there were two conferences at which VA employees attended. One was done by the GSA and the other by VA HR. Both of them spent exorbitant amounts of money and even had some contracting officers allegedly taking gifts from vendors. This prompted a swift knee-jerk reaction by the VA, in which they have essentially made it so difficult for any conference to get their attendees approved for funding, that no attendees will be allowed to go.
Since over 90% of our attendees are employees of the VA, we are therefore forced to cancel since there will be few able or willing to afford attending and paying for the entire amount out of their own pocket. We apologize for the few who might have done so, but with so few that we estimate would be attending, we had no choice but to cancel versus suffering financial losses that would put the entire association in trouble.
We will be working with the VA to try to resume our conference in 2014, however, it is unclear when or what the next year will bring for changes.Sincerely,