Posts Tagged "travel authorization"

Did Captain Kirk use ETS?

»Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

I wonder if Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise realized when he said “Beam me up Scottie” that as a federal government traveler he needed to have a travel authorization in the E-Gov travel system (ETS).  As it is with anything, travel doesn’t just happen.  It takes a team of dedicated, trained professionals to make it happen. Travel Management Center (TMC) or Commercial Travel Office (CTO) are the names the General Services Administration (GSA) designated for accredited travel agencies under contract with the federal government to sell airline tickets and other travel services. Travel begins with a travel order – the traveler must create a travel authorization using the E-Gov travel system.  When creating the authorization using...

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The Evolution of Government Travel

»Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Airlines, Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Payment Methods, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Twenty years ago I was assigned to the office that was responsible for travel processing.  In 1989 very few employees had computers and most of the work continued to be done as it had been for decades – by paper.   At that time a traveler would work with their secretary to complete a multi-carbon copy travel authorization.  The per diem rates were looked up in a GSA published book and the secretary would complete the estimates after calling the airline and hotel to make reservations.  Once the paper authorization or voucher was completed it was sent to several people for signature and eventually ended up in the Finance Office. Once the Finance Office received the documents, a technician verified the per diem rates and quarter day calculations for first and...

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The Travel Process

»Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Business Practices, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The travel process can be a very complicated process without the proper training. The Bureau of the Public Debt offers training for all agencies in which we perform travel for. Many people are involved each time an individual goes on travel. Everyone involved has a specific duty to perform in order to make the travel process run smoothly. The following is the normal process an individual would follow when traveling for the government. The first step of the travel process is being asked to perform travel. Whatever the need is for the travel, the authorization to travel must be approved by management. Once management has approved the need for travel, they may give specific limitations, exceptions, approvals that pertain to the travel at hand. This information will...

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Accounting for Travel

»Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Business Practices, Government Traveler Comments, Hotels, Rental Cars, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Many Federal employees will travel or relocate for their jobs at some point in their career.  Travelers are mostly concerned about staying at a preferred hotel and getting a direct flight and may not realize that every travel authorization and voucher is also an accounting entry. In the accounting world, a travel authorization becomes an accounting document called an obligation and has the same accounting impact as a purchase order for goods or services.  The obligation reserves the estimated amount to ensure funds are available when the traveler submits a voucher for payment.  When the voucher is recorded in the financial system, the obligation is reversed and a payment is made. To determine what “pot of money” the traveler is using, the travel documents...

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Travel Document Overview

»Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Electronic Travel Systems, History and Overview, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The travel process is pretty involved and involves many different individuals including the traveler, possibly a document preparer, approving official and the processing staff.  Each person that touches the document has a role in ensuring that the traveler has a successful trip.  This is going to explain the process a travel document follows from the time the traveler is requested to go on travel. Travel authorizations are manually entered by the traveler or a document preparer in the eTravel system prior to taking a trip for the agency.  During the creation of the authorization the reservations are made for air, hotel and rental car.  Any estimated miscellaneous expenses such as parking, taxi or hotel taxes are input so that funds can be reserved in the...

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Must a Federal Employee Prepare a Travel Authorization Prior to Travel?

»Posted by on Jan 26, 2013 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

Our agency’s travel office receives inquiries regarding why a travel authorization is required prior to going on official business travel.  In answer to this inquiry here are some reasons why a travel authorization is of benefit for the federal agency as well as being generally required.  According to the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) Chapter 301-2.1: §301-2.1  Must I have authorization to travel? Yes, generally you must have written or electronic authorization prior to incurring any travel expense. If it is not practicable or possible to obtain such authorization prior to travel, your agency may approve a specific authorization for reimbursement of travel expenses after travel is completed. However, written or electronic advance authorization is...

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Accounting for Travel Transactions

»Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The electronic travel system (ETS) benefits the federal traveler, program office, and finance office with management and evaluation of travel activity.  To the traveler the ETS is a mechanism for electronically booking common carrier, lodging accommodations, and car rental services, and for claiming reimbursement of travel expenses.  The ETS provides the program office a system to manage travel activities, to insure compliance to the Federal Travel Regulations and to electronically account for use of program funds. To us in the finance office, the ETS provides the required documentation to account for and disburse federal funds. The electronic travel document corresponds to an accounting transaction. In order for the travel system to communicate the travel and...

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