Posts Tagged "FedRooms"

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Business Practices, Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms, formerly known as the Federal Premiere Lodging Program (FPLP), is the official Federal Government lodging program that will allow for substantial savings.  The FedRooms rate in comparison to “government” rates will always be at lower cost to matching prices, which creates a savings for your agency. The Government negotiates FedRooms rates while “government” rates are set by the vendor and are arbitrary. Other benefits of staying at a FedRooms hotel are the 4 p.m. (or later) day of arrival cancellation policy, no early departure fees or any other hidden fees.  Hotels that are approved by FEMA as fire safe hotels offer the Fedrooms rate. Book the FedRooms rate using either your E-Gov System, your travel management center (TMC) or online...

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DOD Lodging Programs

»Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Hotels, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The Department of Defense (DOD) has several different programs for lodging.  All of the programs produce savings to the tax payer. Lodging facilities listed in the Defense Travel System (DTS) are either part of the Federal Rooms Program, and/ or FEMA compliant hotels.  The hotels listed in DTS are provided to system users because of the cost savings to the government traveler.  The Federal Rooms Program and FEMA compliant hotels work well at saving the non-DOD travelers money, but even they do not provide the cost savings of the military lodging system.  The military lodging system is not currently used by DTS. The Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) requires uniformed service members ordered to a U.S. Installation (as opposed to a geographic location like...

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FedRooms®

»Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms ®is the official government- wide, GSA sponsored lodging program.  The program is compliant with Federal Travel Regulations  and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and available to all federal government and military personnel.   The program was created in 2004 and is currently the largest managed hotel program in the world, offering federal travelers rates at or below per diem with over 7,000 hotels to choose from in prime locations. Additional  benefits  of the program to the travelers include: 4 p.m. or later day-of-arrival cancel policy No early departure fees No minimum stay requirements No reservation deposits No add on fees The FedRooms® program offers benefits to the government and private industry lodging providers.   The...

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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...

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Hotel Booking and Regulation Challenges for Federal Travelers

»Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

Whether traveling by air, car, or train, Government travelers often require the use of a hotel room.  Due to federal regulations and E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) complications, the hotel reservation and booking process involves many challenges. Some travelers mistakenly think that the “Government rate” at hotels is the Government lodging per diem rate.  Yet this “Government rate” is not managed by the Federal Government at all.  The rate that is managed by the Government is called the FedRooms rate. Hotels that offer the FedRooms rate participate in the Government’s FedRooms program.  What some Government travelers might not realize is that they should give “first consideration…to government lodging agreement programs such as FedRooms” (Federal...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

Travelers no longer need to search and compare hotels to ensure they are compliant with federal regulations. When a traveler books FedRooms, he or she is guaranteed to be in compliance. With more than 5,000 FedRooms hotels worldwide, and with new hotels added daily, FedRooms provides choice while leveraging the federal government’s overall buying power – ensuring guaranteed rates and rate protection now and in the future. For federal government travelers, there are significant differences between the FedRooms rate and “government” rates. The FedRooms rate is the only rate offered under the government-wide and government-sponsored hotel program and is a GSA sponsored hotel program. The “government” rates are rates that have not been negotiated on...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms is a government-sponsored lodging program designed for the federal traveler.  FedRooms negotiates hotel rates for those areas where government travelers need to stay while performing official government business.  This program provides a substantial savings to the government because rates are at or below per diem, no hidden costs or penalties are associated to the rate, travelers are not charged for early check-out, and travelers can cancel a reservation until 4:00 pm on the day of arrival without incurring a penalty. For the convenience of travelers, FedRooms offers a website which offers helpful information.  There’s a convenient search page for travelers to easily find a FedRooms hotel.  This site also offers an overview of the FedRooms...

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Travel Manager Responsibilities

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

As stated in the training materials, the role of the travel manager is to facilitate travel in a manner to ensure compliance. In the corporate market, compliance is monitored via a series of reports designed by the travel manager to assess how changes in policy and process effect overall behavior (compliance). Although the federal government has plans to establish similar oversight, the capability from a data standpoint is not yet available. Once the data does become available, the government will not be left without challenges. The most significant remaining challenge is that the roles and responsibilities of travel manager must evolve accordingly. Currently the primary role of federal travel managers is to ensure travelers understand and comply with policy,...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Finding hotels that meet government standards and the travelers’ needs has historically been a tedious process for travelers and document preparers alike. Numerous searches would be made to find and compare hotels that were in compliance with per diem rates and travel regulations. In 2004 the General Services Administration (GSA) partnered with Carlson Wagonlit’s Hotel Solutions Group to redesign the government’s lodging program. The program has undergone several significant changes–one of the most obvious is the transition from the legacy program’s name, Federal Premier Lodging Program (FPLP), to the new program name, FedRooms. Additionally, the number of participating properties in the FedRooms program has increased from just over 600 in 2004 to...

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The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990

»Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Business Practices, Hotels, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Public Law 101-391, also known as The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act, requires federal employees to stay in fire-safe lodging facilities.  This is an Act of Congress that was signed by President George H. W. Bush on September 25, 1990.  The main purpose of this Act is to save lives. To be considered fire-safe, lodging facilities must have: hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors in each guestroom in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 72; and an automatic sprinkler system, with a sprinkler head in each guest room in compliance with NFPA standards 13 or 13R. Properties three stories or lower in height are exempt from the sprinkler requirement. Over 400 Americans died in hotel fires in the 1970s and 1980s.  Later...

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Promoting Efficient Travel Spending

»Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Hotels, Industry Postings, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources, White Papers | 1 comment

Last year I wrote about the emphasis on reduced travel budgets and gaining cost savings and efficiencies related to Federal Government travel.  Since that time, the Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have further reduced travel funding.  The President signed an Executive Order entitled “Promoting Efficient Spending” dated November 9, 2011 asking agencies to review policies and procedures to find savings and efficiencies related to official travel, and in other areas such as fleet, IT and printing.  The Order calls for reductions of not less than 20% below fiscal year 2010 budget totals, effective by 2013. The Order states: “As they serve taxpayers, executive departments and agencies also must act in a fiscally responsible...

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FedRooms: The Answer to Government Lodging

»Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

As a government employee, there are times that arise when I am asked to travel somewhere in order to receive training for my job or to train others for theirs. Working in the Travel department within my agency, I know the importance of following regulations to find a hotel within per diem at the location I am traveling to. In the past, I would search the internet in order to find a hotel, but may have to go to numerous hotel sites to find a hotel that is within the allowed per diem. FedRooms has now made this job a simpler process. By logging into one website, I am able to find hotels from several chains that are within the per diem amount. Not only does FedRooms make hotel rooms easier to find, it also helps government travelers with guarantees that the hotels...

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Fedrooms and FEMA Requirements

»Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

Part of the requirements to do business with the Federal Government is that your hotel must be FEMA Certified. As a new build or converting hotel, you must make sure that the building contractor is having the required inspections prior to the opening of the hotel. You must also ensure that the State Fire Marshall has given their approval during the construction process. There are some occasions where the local laws may exceed the Federal Minimum Requirements, so verify with the Fire Marshal which requirements you must meet. The contact point you will require for this process is; http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications/hotel/ This is the web address for the US Fire Administration which is where you will find the online application for your FEMA number and be able to...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Global Distribution Systems, History and Overview, Hotels | 0 comments

Working for a Federally Funded Research and Development organization for the last eight years has been a great foundation for understanding government travel and its’ idiosyncrasies.  As I fought my way through JTR language and GSA restrictions, I’ve learned a lot about government travel policy, eligibility and procedures.  Although my organization is not eligible for all government specialties, we must follow many of the GSA and JTR regulations when arranging travel. The downside of not being eligible for many of the special discounts that government travelers are entitled to is our costs are much higher and constantly questioned by auditors.  FFRDC’s and government contractors are no longer eligible for the GSA City Pair Program or car rental programs,...

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Lodging

»Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

When a government employee is preparing to go on travel to conduct official government business, one question the person may ask is “Where am I going to stay”?  When it comes to selecting lodging, there are many regulations the government has established to try and be cost effective. The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) offers guidance concerning lodging for civilian government travelers.  Travelers are required to stay at hotels that are at or less than the per diem rate allowed.  Per diem rates consist of lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.  The per diem rates are released by the General Services Administration (GSA) after they have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Budget and Management (OMB).  The rates are reviewed and adjusted...

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Travel Policy and Compliance

»Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Travel policy for official Government travel is governed by the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and those areas within the FTR that require/allow agency-specific policies to be instituted.  While travel policy has always been an integral part of the Federal travel process, travel policy became more visible with the advent of the current generation of E-Gov Travel systems, and continues to be very critical and visible as we progress towards the next generation of these systems. This is mainly due to the automated systems forcing travelers and approvers to be more in compliance with the FTR and agency policy. While a step in the right direction, this also seemed to generate even more travel policy questions and was a key factor in reorganizing our travel support...

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FedRooms

»Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms is a government program that negotiates prices in different cities around the country to be used by government travelers.  The properties can be used for official business travel and some also offer a discounted rate for personal travel.  All properties that participate in the program offer a 4:00 or later cancellation policy which means if plans change at the last minute the traveler won’t be charged for a room they don’t use.  Many of the hotels also offer last room availability which means that if there’s a room available they must give it to the traveler at the negotiated rate. I’ve used the FedRooms program for both business and personal travel.  My experiences have all been good.  The process for booking the room is very...

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Personal Convenience is not an FTR Exception

»Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Government Traveler Comments | 0 comments

When it comes to official government travel, there are so many regulations and procedures that must be followed on how to make your travel lodging reservations that it gets quite confusing.  Keep in mind that personal convenience, which is certainly what we would prefer, is not a Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) exception. First and foremost, we should be looking for a FedRoom facility.  Doing so will meet the FTR requirement of giving first consideration to FedRooms properties.  These are establishments that are contracted by General Services Administration (GSA) under the FedRooms Program to ensure that the government traveler stays in fire safe accommodations at a government rate.  Lodging facilities participating in the FedRooms program offer rates at or...

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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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