Posts Tagged "communication"

E-Travel System and FTR Compliance

»Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

As the system administrator for my Bureau’s E-Travel system, I have had my struggles in establishing all the routing lists, lines of accounting, groups, etc. that are needed to get a system off the ground.  These are never ending duties in my organization; as employees are constantly moving around, lines of accounting change or new people need added to the groups. I also have Regional Administrators in each of my Regional offices who assist me with these duties now that that we have implemented fully.  It is easier for them to take care of their own regional people. We have worked hard as a team in training our travelers, travel planners, reviewers, and approving officials on the E-Travel system.  We have utilized hands-on, classroom, online, and WebEx...

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The Final Frontier: SmartPay 1

»Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Established in 1998, the GSA SmartPay program provides government agencies with commercial charge card procurement and payment solutions through “Master Contracts”.  The SmartPay 1 program expired on November 29, 2008.  The new program, SmartPay 2 (SP 2), will expire on November 29, 2018. During the transition, GSA was very visible.  The Office of Charge Card Management provided support to Agency/Organization Program Coordinators (AOPC).  They provided a copy of the new Master Contract timely enough to allow AOPCs to review the information.  They also provided tools to help with agencies’ selection process and transition.  A timeline detailed recommended activities to ensure agency transitions were completed.  Conference calls were routine as...

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»Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

ETS2 is right around the corner, and an agency’s internal communication will be key to making ETS2 a success. As we approach the five-year anniversary of completing implementation of ETS1 at my agency, it is important to look back at a key reason ETS1 was a success here:  communication. ETS1 was a major change at my agency.  We had been doing electronic authorizations and vouchering for a few years in a home-grown system, but ETS1 added integrated online booking and system-controlled adherence to travel policies to the equation. It was mandatory to implement ETS1 so it was vital that our employees knew that it had to happen.  At my agency, executives were consistently given the message that ETS1 was going to happen and why, and they were provided with regular...

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Electronic Travel Service 2 (ETS2): The Next Generation

»Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

The General Services Administration (GSA) along with other government agencies, contractors, vendors, and the Travel Management Center (TMC) providers are already preparing for Electronic Travel Service 2 (ETS2), the next generation of the EGov Travel Service.  The current ETS contract, administered by GSA, will be expiring on November 11, 2013. E-Gov Travel is a Government-wide initiative that is mandated by the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) for all federal travelers and is one of 24 E-Gov initiatives outlined in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA).   The E-Gov Travel vision is to deliver a unified, simplified service that delivers a cost-effective travel experience, supports excellent management and results in superior customer satisfaction. ...

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Transition to ETS2

»Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 1 comment

Transitioning to a new E-Gov Travel Service 2 (ETS2) system in the next few years will be challenging, and change management will likely be the key to success.  There will be complex, more technical work to be completed – migrating user data and settings from the old E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) system, configuring the ETS2 system for agency travel policies, interfacing ETS2 with our financial management system – but assisting travelers, travel arrangers, and approvers in changing from the old system to the new will be key. My agency went from a very effective, simple in-house electronic authorization and vouchering system to using one of the three ETS systems 5 years ago.  The old electronic travel authorization and voucher system did its job very well,...

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The Travel Industry and the Government

»Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, History and Overview | 0 comments

As the government spends about 2.5 billion annually on business employee travel expenses, the travel industry and the government have created a well- rounded partnership. This partnership explains in depth the understanding of the contracting requirements, acquisition rules and travel regulations. Communication on this information is essential between the two partners. The travel industry initiated different methods in order for government employees to have a thorough understanding of the travel industry and its regulations, etc. These methods were presented to the employees by means of conferences and educational sessions. These educational events are very informative for people to learn and expand their knowledge inn this industry. Educational conferences are...

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Government Travel Policy Administration II

»Posted by on Jun 14, 2014 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

My agency offers E-Gov travel reimbursable services to other government agencies as a means for them to more cost effectively provide travel and let’s the agency concentrate on their core mission. In support of this, we offer a travel Help Desk. Initially, our intent was to offer better service administrating E-Gov Travel and travel policy questions for our customers than we felt the vendors could provide, and we were able to accomplish this. (We were used to doing this even before E-Gov Travel). However we have noticed that our Helpdesk has expanded somewhat in the scope of questions being asked. We receive more than just the routing administration questions such as routing lists and group changes. Travelers have questions about finding the correct flights...

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Space Age Versus Stone Age

»Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

I often think about the Electronic Travel Systems (ETS) that have recently been developed by contractors and implemented by the government, and I can’t help recalling the “not so good-old-days” when the less sophisticated systems ruled this environment.  Consequently, things were much more cumbersome and time consuming. Before today’s technology the tools we were constrained to from a hotel perspective seem primitive.  Although I have never had the prodigious opportunity to utilize the ETS/DTS from an end user vantage, I believe my experience can lend testimony to the giant technological leaps and improved systems we have come to develop and implement in a very short time.  I feel the same holds true in most aspects of business and life. Before global,...

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Travel Professional Resources

»Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in History and Overview, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Communication is essential to the success of the Government Travel Professional and its agencies. The Government Travel Professional’s responsibility is to clearly communicate with the agency and its peers of any new updates, transitions, policies, and procedures.  Special attention is placed when a new system is implemented.  In addition, the Government Travel Professional keeps daily communication through phone or e-mail with TMC/CTO.  Communication is transferred in various means in which keeps the government organized while keeping their employees informed. The government ensures all stakeholders are informed of a new system/s. They cover all aspects when a new system will be taking place this is accomplished through the successful communication...

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Business Practices

»Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Industry Postings | 0 comments

Business practices as defined in this section of the CGTP are the general principles and practices a TMC/CTO must provide the federal government on a daily basis, without exception.  Trained experienced agents that understands the entire travel management process and can apply JTR, FTR and government agency specific travel regulations is the key to a good relationship between the Federal Government, the traveler, and the TMC/CTO providing travel management.  From constant updates of traveler’s profiles to applying all regulations and policy to TDY, a TMC agent’s ability to establish a relationship with professionalism and trust with the specific branch of government, ensures seamless travel planning, approval, ticketing and expense reimbursement.   It is...

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»Posted by on Jun 23, 2013 in Business Practices | 0 comments

Communication is a key ingredient in any business or aspect of life.  In our agency, one of our biggest assets is our ability to communicate well within our office, with the customers we service, and the communication between us and the vendors we work with on a daily basis.  We focus on high quality customer service.  Our travel helpdesk is staffed with technicians who are very knowledgeable in the E Gov Travel system and the Federal Travel Regulations. Our technicians answer any questions the traveler may have regarding the FTR or questions that pertain to the creation of documents in the E Gov Travel software.  Our customers have access to our helpdesk five days a week within the hours of 6:00am to 6:00pm.  The most common calls are from first time...

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