Posts Tagged "DOD"

The Importance of Understanding the Master Contract

»Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Civilian agencies have placed task orders under the GSA Schedule for their TMCs but, in my experience,  they may often lack an understanding of exactly what is covered in the TMC Master Contract.  This puts agencies at a severe disadvantage when questions do arise since the an agency’s acquisition personnel usually have no familiarity with government travel issues. It has been my experience that acquisition personnel are also not familiar with the details of the Master Contract when they place the Task Order for the agency.  The Task Order is not a complete contract and it does not have many of the specifics that are in the Master Contract.  And of course, the travel teams at various agencies are most familiar only with their own negotiated Task...

read more

Travel Industry History

»Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in History and Overview | 0 comments

In 1948 the Department of Defense had a need to transport Military passengers and cargo more rapidly than by the railroad. The air industry had a desire to become a part of this industry but almost all military passengers traveled by railroad and the railroads enjoyed a preferential passenger traffic arrangement with the government. Although the commercial airlines provided major support to the government during World War II, following the war they were generally used as a last resort for emergency movement of traffic or when a senior officer insisted on using air rather than surface transportation. Airlines were struggling in their attempts to gain entry into this market and made significant headway in 1940. Most of the airlines serving Washington DC created and...

read more

Procurement and Management, the Federal Travel Disconnect

»Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

When considering travel programs, program management and procurement are both essential.  Once travel is procured, the role of the program manager is to focus on getting the maximum value from any and all negotiated agreements through careful follow up, tracking, and compliance monitoring. In turn, suppliers are more inclined to offer better deals if they believe the corporate client closely tracks usage, trains travelers, and communicates policy in ways that lead to significantly higher compliance levels.  It is the combination of procurement and program management that leads to effective overall travel programs.  In this paper I explore and assess the federal government’s approach to procurement and program management, and offer recommendations to...

read more

FTR Workshop

»Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, History and Overview, Payment Methods | 0 comments

In January of this year I had the privileged opportunity to attend a FTR Workshop, which was hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD). GSA & DOD collaboratively enlisted the help of an outside contractor to assist with the task of researching the feasibility of creating a streamlined and updated Federal Travel Regulation draft. Any new draft of the FTR would need to be approved by various high-level government entities, including OMB, and the US Congress on Capitol Hill. During the FTR workshop, the brainstorming sessions became very interesting, as we discussed various possible directions we could take with regards to the FTR. One of the options mentioned (and the most favorable) was to eliminate a lot of the...

read more

Travel Professional Resources & Best Government Travel Web Sites

»Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Web access becomes almost universal, and travel one of the most common types of e-commerce, more and more federal employees are turning to computers to help them plan trips, check regulations, and more. GENERAL FEDERAL TRAVEL The mother lode of information on the government’s low negotiated airline fares, including schedules, fares and more. A Federal Aviation Administration page devoted to aviation safety data. From here you can search the National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident/Incident Database; the FAA Incident Data System; the Near Midair Collisions System database; NTSB Safety Recommendations to the FAA with FAA responses; and the...

read more

Some Interesting Questions About GSA’s Best Rate

»Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

According to the text, Travel Management Centers (TMCs), applying for the GSA Schedule are expected to offer prices better than those offered their best customer. This raises some interesting questions. Does GSA truly get the best rate? First, were this truly the case, it would be of no advantage for agencies to negotiate non-schedule TMC arrangements. They presumably could not get a better rate and presumably the $1.50 transaction fee is not enough to make the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) and competition, an expensive process, a profitable alternative. Why than would an agency choose to run its own competition? Is it solely to add additional requirements not available under the schedule? Does GSA require that TMCs on the schedule offer services in...

read more

E-Verify and the Travel Industry

»Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

On November 14, 2008, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule (73 FR 67651), amending 48 CFR Parts 2, 22, and 52, to change the rules on Employment Eligibility Verification.  These new rules require Government contractors to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government to use the Federal E-Verify system to confirm the immigration status of employees working on Government contracts performed within the United States.  Prior to the effective date of the new regulation, January 15, 2009, the use of the E-Verify system was voluntary. Government contractors, as well as businesses in general, have long been obligated to check...

read more

The Department of Defense’s Efforts to Reduce Travel Costs

»Posted by on Nov 29, 2013 in Business Practices, Industry Postings, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

In March 2011, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum titled, “Track Four Initiative Decision.” The memorandum mandated that “all DoD travel requests must include justification that alternate means such as, Secure Video Teleconference (SVTC) or other web-based communication, are not sufficiently able to accomplish travel objectives.” The Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) were subsequently updated to include this mandate. The regulations require that all DD 1610 forms, Request for Authorization for TDY Travel of DoD Personnel, and other order formats like the Defense Travel System (DTS), include a statement justifying that alternate methods noted in the memorandum are not sufficient to...

read more

Tracking Travel Expenditures

»Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

From my experience working with the federal government, they still have difficulty tracking their travel expenditures. “The government presently has very limited capability for management information reporting of its travel usage and spend.” This phrase appeared in the statement of objectives for GSA’s Business Travel Intelligence RFP in 2006. Although the government has the foundational tools (ETS/DTS), vendors (TMC/CTO, SmartPay) and processes (FTR) in place, they still are unable to determine how their money is spent to any degree of specificity. One key reason is that, unlike corporate clients who maintain a single travel agency for all transactions*, GSA allows each agency to contract with individual travel agencies. Having various travel agencies...

read more

DTS, ETS & FedRooms

»Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels, Payment Methods | 2 comments

The federal government has taken on monumental tasks implementing the DTS system and ETS systems, and I commend DoD and GSA for their actions. Surprisingly, although the systems have been in place for many years now, my experience has been that neither group has been able to obtain the type of management reports necessary to effectively alter traveler behavior or leverage their purchasing power during negotiations. As a simple example, let’s take the FedRooms program. Currently DoD does not participate in the program. Therefore the FedRooms rates, according to GSA’s FedRooms manager, are not even loaded into the DTS system for display to DoD travelers. On the ETS side of the house, while FedRooms rates (XVU code) are displayed, they are displayed with up to 20...

read more