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February 25, 1983



Recent publicity concerning approval by this office for out-of-state travel and per diem expenses incurred by staff members of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services has generated a number of inquiries from other agencies contemplating similar workshops or seminars. Such payments are not to be considered as any change in the policy of this office which has always been to question severely the need for any such travel or per diem for intra-agency educational or policy meetings. Justification in detail will still be required and absent a clear and compelling state purpose will be disallowed.

Your attention is directed to the provisions of Section 112.061(3)(b), Florida Statutes, and the Rules of this office concerning such costs. In addition, you are reminded that Section 28 of the 1982-83 Appropriations Act (Chapter 82-215, Laws of Florida) mandates in-state travel costs to be reduced by 15 percent and out-of-state travel by 30 percent.

This office remains of the opinion that adequate facilities which provide for uninterrupted communication and a congenial atmosphere exist within relatively short distances from any state agency headquarters. Consequently only the most pressing reasons will justify the required state purpose for such costs.