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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: March 9, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Mandatory Travel Card Date Extended to May 1, 2000, for Departments of State and Veterans Affairs

SOURCE: Government Executive Daily Briefing, March 9, 2000

AGENCIES: Department of State and Department of Veterans Affairs

SYNOPSIS: The date for the mandatory use of the government travel charge card is extended from March 1, 2000, to May 1, 2000, for Department of State and Department of Veterans Affairs employees.

EDITOR'S NOTE: See the March 6, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Mandatory Travel Card Date Extended to May 1, 2000, for Department of Defense Personnel" for more on the extension granted by the General Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Defense (DOD).

For more on the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) amendment that finalized the mandatory use of the travel charge card, see the January 19, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 90; Mandatory Use of the Travel Charge Card."

EFFECTIVE DATE: Use of the government travel charge card will be mandatory on May 1, 2000, for these two departments and the Department of Defense. It became mandatory on March 1, 2000, for all other departments and agencies.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Public Law 105-264, the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998, requires the Administrator of General Services to issue regulations requiring "federal employees [to] use the travel charge card established pursuant to the United States Travel and Transportation Payment and Expense Control System, or any federal contractor-issued travel charge card, for all payments of expenses of official government travel." This was done by the publication of an interim rule on July 19, 1999, which amended FTR Chapter 301, Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances. This interim rule was finalized on January 19, 2000, and it mandated the use of the travel charge card effective March 1, 2000.

On March 1, 2000, GSA granted DOD an extension until May 1, 2000, since DOD was unable to comply with the requirement by March 1, 2000, due to the late arrival of guidance.

The Government Executive reports in its Daily Briefing that GSA has granted the State Department and the VA the same 60-day extension. The primary reason cited is the prevalent use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software to support the travel function, and this forces the agencies to wait for the software manufacturers to update that software to reflect the changes.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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