U.S. Representative Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced a bill in Congress that would require federal agencies to use videoconferencing in place of face-to-face meetings to reduce federal travel expenditures by up to 50 percent from 2013 levels.

The bill, the Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 (H.R. 2463), would go into effect starting fiscal year 2017 if passed.

Specifically, the bill calls upon the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to report on the extent to which federal agencies have reduced travel expenses by using videoconferencing, in accordance with the OMB’s 2012 memorandum on reducing federal travel expenses. Part of that memo talks about employing videoconference technology where possible but in the bill Fitzpatrick calls videoconferencing an untapped means of saving taxpayer dollars.

The bill also calls on agencies to develop a plan starting in 2017 to use videoconferencing to achieve a 50 percent reduction in federal agency travel expenses below FY2013 levels, or the greatest reduction in travel expenses that the OMB director considers feasible.

The bill was introduced on July 10 and is currently in committee, referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.