Who Should Have Access To The ETS?

» Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

While transitioning our franchise customers over to our current agency’s E-Gov Travel System (ETS), we encountered the same question over and over—Who should have access to the ETS?  After much discussion with our agency, GSA, Chief Counsel’s Office, and other agencies, our Bureau has developed the following policy in regards to this question.

Access to the ETS is limited to employees who have a need to use the system including travelers, document preparers, budget reviewers, approving officials, or other identified staff.  Because personal services contractors (PSCs) have an employer-employee relationship and are considered employees, they may have access to the ETS as long as they are trained to use the system and are familiar with the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).

Invitational travelers will not be given direct access to the ETS, because they will have an agency-designated document preparer (Government employee) enter their travel documents into the system for them.  The document preparer will be trained on using the ETS and the regulations found in the FTR.  Our agency’s travel help desk is available to assist agencies with preparing invitational travel documents if needed.

Our Bureau elects to treat Special Government Employees (SGEs), committee members, and spouses of award winners as invitational travelers due to the direct benefit they provide the Government.  If a customer agency makes an exception to this allowing their SGEs to use the ETS, they must ensure that their SGEs are trained to use the system and are knowledgeable of the FTR.

Contractors should not be considered invitational travelers, and Procurement should build any foreseen travel costs directly into the contracts.  This ensures that all of the contractor costs are paid from contract funds and not travel funds.  In rare instances, a contractor may be treated as an invitational traveler if the need for travel was not determined until after negotiations, but is directed by the agency and necessary to meet agency requirements.  However, this should be the exception and not the norm.  Contractors traveling on invitational travel orders will not be able to use City Pair contract fares and will not be covered under the U.S. Government Car Rental Agreement.  Some car rental agencies may give the contractors the Government rate, but they will not be covered under the Government’s insurance.  Contractors may obtain lodging through the FedRooms program by using the FedRooms website to make their reservations.

By Angela Williamson

“The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.”

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