Posts Tagged "training"

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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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ETS Customer Implementations

»Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Electronic Travel Systems, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

The keys to a successful eTS implementation are open communication, documentation, and both parties being consistent and reliable. Our overall goal in eTS customer implementations is to assist in providing a smooth, timely transition by: Clearly defining conversion goals Mitigating risk issues that could result in monetary or time loss Optimizing/revamping current business processes the customer performs Administering end user training on the eTS Our eTS customer implementation process usually consists of four steps. We begin implementations with a project kick off meeting with the agency. These are normally on-site visits at the agency. During this kick off meeting several things are accomplished such as: Introductions A demo of the eTS Provide the...

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Rental Car Costs – Paying the GARS Fee

»Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

I provide a great deal of E-Gov Travel System training to our various customers’.  During training, it seems the same question arises during my coverage of the rental car section.  The very popular question is:  Do I have to pay the GARS (Government Administrative Rate Supplement) fee?  The answer to this question is yes, all Government travelers must pay the GARS fee.  However it should be noted; The GARS fee and the optional insurance that may be offered are two different things.  The GARS fee is $5.00 per day worldwide and is paid by all Government renters.  Travelers should be aware, that the $5.00 fee is in addition to the daily rate and is not automatically included in the daily rental rate of the vehicle. The GARS fee is an administrative fee which...

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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 Responsibilities of the Approving Official

»Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The approving official has a very important role in the processing of travel requests.  Approving officials need to complete training on their eGov Travel application. Many agencies offer classroom or online training. Approving officials are setup in routing lists in the eGov Travel application.  There is often more than one approving official in a routing list to allow for unavailability.  The approving official can be an administrator, part of the finance office or required for specific agency business rules.  When a document is routed to the approving official it is their responsibility to review the document in a timely manner. The review of the authorization must be timely by the approving official to allow the traveler to confirm the reservations and...

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Transitioning to an ETS System

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

In 2003 General Services Administration (GSA) awarded three companies with E-Gov Travel Service contracts.  Once the contracts were awarded, agencies were given until December 2004 to select an ETS vendor. I was hired in 2005 to support travelers with this new eTravel system.  The agency that I work for provides administrative support services on a competitive and full cost-reimbursable basis to other government agencies.  We operate like a public business and do not receive any appropriated funds. We have two branches within travel  – Relocation and Temporary Duty (TDY).  I work in the TDY branch.  Our services include E-Gov Travel implementation, help desk support, training, travel-related payments, travel policy, and charge card administration. In the...

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Travel Purpose Identifiers

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

Federal Government spending is a major topic in the news these days.  Managing resources efficiently and responsibly is among the federal financial manager top priorities. Congressional reporting requirements ensure agencies’ account for their spending activity in fulfillment of their missions.   Focus is frequently on an agency’s travel program.  What types of travel does an agency perform using federal funds?  Is the type of travel and cost necessary to accomplish the agency’s mission?  To answer these questions the federal government needs standardized reporting criteria for all its agencies. In the mid-1970s, the federal government implemented the use of travel purpose identifiers to categorize the types of travel conducted by its...

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Credit Cards – Getting A Bad Rap?

»Posted by on Feb 22, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The GSA website provides an interesting perspective on the issue of the misuse of Government Smartpay credit cards. We have all seen stories about Government employees using Smartpay cards to make outrageous purchases, but are these articles the tip of an iceberg of misuse or an abberation? A reading of various FAQs on the site suggests that the credit cards have received a bad rap not because they are widely misused, but because the system readily discloses such misuse, exposing those who try to use the cards for improper purposes. GSA contends that misuse accounts for only a very small percentage of overall use. According to GSA, banks under contract to the Smartpay program must provide an assortment of protections against misuse. Under the program agencies may...

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E Gov Travel – The Transition and Training Process

»Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Airlines, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Payment Methods, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Beginning in September of 2004, our agency began converting our customers from the legacy travel system to the new E Gov Travel system.  With approximately thirty agencies to convert, we completed the transition within a twelve month time-frame.  Even though this schedule was quite intense, we were able to complete this transition successfully due to the cooperation of everyone involved, the organization of a well thought out project plan, and a detailed training plan. For each customer to convert from the legacy system to the new one, there were two people in our agency assigned to lead each team.  We were responsible for performing all of the background maintenance tasks, such as routing lists, the people table, and security groups. We also trained all...

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Government Travel System Support

»Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Government employees are mandated by the Federal Travel Regulations to use an E-Gov Travel Service when made available by their agency. Most government travelers are familiar with on-line booking engines such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc. when making reservations for personal travel. However, the E-Gov travel systems may not be as user friendly since travel regulations are integrated with the system. Travelers often find that they need assistance when preparing their travel documents in the system and making reservations. At my agency, we provide travel help desk support to other government agencies. This support ranges from assisting travelers with system functionality on a small scale to training infrequent travelers on how to use the system. When appropriate we...

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