Posts Tagged "DTS"

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Government Travel Program: An Active Duty Perspective

»Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The history of the Government Travel Program from the active duty perspective is long and varied.  Knowing the history of where Department of Defense travel has been makes it easier to understand the changes being made now and the path to the future. When one examines travel from the active duty perspective you can see there are two major periods that have impacted travel payment processing: the pre and post Government Travel Credit Card era, and the pre and post Defense Travel System (DTS). Before the advent of the government travel credit card most Temporary Duty (TDY) travel was limited to a small cadre of individuals.  Service members often could not afford the added expense of traveling without an advance payment.  Travel advances created a series of...

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TRX & Business Intelligence

»Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The contract with TRX to implement a Business Intelligence system is absolutely the logical next step. Even with ETS and DTS, the federal government still has too many vendors transmitting data to effectively track and manage their travel programs. Having a single consolidated data warehouse from which reports can be generated will provide the government the appropriate tool to manage travel. What was surprising to me about solicitation TFL06-RH-1040 was the vast scope and limited timeline of the project. The project requires that TRX establish data feeds with not only DTS and the three ETS vendors, but also with: multiple charge card vendors (presumably GE Capital, Chase, Citibank, US Bank) every government TMC/CTO (which I understand there are approximately...

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Defense Travel System (DTS)

»Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

The Defense Travel Management Office established in 2006, is a positive example of how government can streamline best practices and procedures into one government entity. The DTMO serves to establish direction, set policy and centrally manage the defense departments commercial travel programs. DTMO is responsible for the DTS online booking tool and monitors the usage, cost and customer satisfaction in order to determine the efficiency and effectiveness. Since the implementation of DTS (Defense Travel System) in 2006 the system now operates over 9,500 sites worldwide and has approximately 75,000 users accessing it on a daily basis. The positive customer service results and the efficiency of the tool have been hard to ignore. Per the Transportation Reform Act of...

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Government Travel Management: A Summary

»Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Background: In the old days and before the 1978 Airlines Deregulation Act, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) used to decide the fares between any two cities. They decided which airline flew from/to cities and how much they should charge. Well, the 1978Airline Deregulation Act changed the dynamics and working ways of the airline industry. It allowed airlines to decide where to fly and how much they can charge. Competition was the name of the game. What was the government reaction to the deregulation act? In 1980, the government using the sheer volume of business it controls was able to negotiate and establish “government fares or CITY PAIR PROGRAM”. “Fly America Act” requires the use of US flag carriers or US Code Share flights. These fares were to become...

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Electronic Travel System

»Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Within my agency we use the Defense Travel System (DTS) which is the ETS for Department of Defense. On March 28, 2008, the former Under Secretary for Reserve Affairs David Chu made it mandatory that DTS was to be use the Secretary of Defense mandated the use of DTS. This was as a result of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 1997. My agency started using the system in 2007. It was a hard transition not only for me, but the travelers.  I was always use to processing travel the manual way. Therefore, my knowledge of this system was zero.  We hired a contractor for six month to help sat up our organization. A few months thereafter, I attended Defense Travel Administrator Training. As I worked with the program, I became familiar with providing guidance with...

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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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ETS/DTS Imbedded vs. Accommodated TMC

»Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

ETS or DTS after the federal agency chooses an Electronic Travel System it must interface with the TMC or Travel Agency.   One may notice that there are many travel companies listed on the TSS schedule offering accommodated services. Know that each of these agencies has gone through a fairly rigorous test to be available for use by federal agency states credibility these companies.  Their financial health, the evaluation of the staff, key employees, and their ability to know their clients’ needs and work with them on a daily basis. If the purpose of the ETS or DTS system is to provide a seamless approval and reservation system that can operate quickly and efficiently all while providing rapid reimbursement to the federal traveler for their out of pockets...

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What Is IATA?

»Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Global Distribution Systems, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

What does having an IATA mean? Do you need one to book a reservation on your own? Do I need to use the DTS to book my reservation? What amenities come with my room? It is not easy to get an IATA number but IATA numbers are basically the Travel agent’s ID number; this is also used to identify individual travel companies so that they will receive a commission check once the person has traveled to the destination.  When you put the IATA number in, it’s not for the discount…it’s so the companies know which travel agent to pay the commission to. To get the travel agency rate, you generally need to get the right rate codes (at least with rental cars & hotels – not sure how airlines interact with the GDS systems since they do not get paid...

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Benefits of DTS and CTO Services versus using Other Sources for Travel Arrangements

»Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Industry Postings, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Government agencies are faced with reduced budgets in recent years due to the economy.  At our agency, employees have been asked to submit suggestions to improve processes and save money during this time of limited resources, and several suggestions have been submitted that relate to government travel.   One suggestion was to allow travelers to make their reservations and arrangements through a commercially available online travel search engine rather than through the Defense Travel System (DTS) or the Commercial Travel Office (CTO). It is our policy that all travelers use an available CTO for all official transportation requirements.    While online ticketing may initially appear to be less expensive and a way to save taxpayer dollars, these fares are...

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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...

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Travel Professional Resources

»Posted by on Mar 10, 2013 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Everybody who is involved in Government travel whether in systems administration, finances, travel consultants, travelers and others have many resources to help them fulfill their jobs. Online training on ETS/DTS  (GDS for travel agents)  for vendors to access appropriate financial codes for travelers, are some resources that can help. Attending seminars and educational programs from professional organizations dealing with Government travel can also be a valuable asset.   Federal Travel regulations and Regulations Integration: Government travel is conducted under various types of regulation laws and rules . Reservations, ticketing and travel activities like hotels, rent a car or Per Diem allowance, have  to comply with either/or Federal Acquisition...

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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...

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DTS

»Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

The Defense Travel Management Office established in 2006, is a positive example of how government can streamline best practices and procedures into one government entity. The DTMO serves to establish direction, set policy and centrally manage the defense departments commercial travel programs. DTMO is responsible for the DTS online booking tool and monitors the usage, cost and customer satisfaction in order to determine the efficiency and effectiveness. Since the implementation of DTS (Defense Travel System) in 2006 the system now operates over 9,500 sites worldwide and has approximately 75,000 users accessing it on a daily basis. The positive customer service results and the efficiency of the tool have been hard to ignore. Per the Transportation Reform Act of...

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