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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: March 30, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 90; Mandatory Use of the Travel Charge Card

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 30, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 62, page 16828

AGENCIES: General Services Administration (GSA)

ACTION: Delay of Applicability Date

SYNOPSIS: Because many agencies have had difficulties implementing the requirements of Public Law 105-264, the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998, regarding the required use of the travel charge card, collection of amounts owed, and reimbursement of travel expenses, GSA is granting a class deviation that delays the applicability date until May 1, 2000, for mandatory use of the travel charge card and payment of associated penalties and interest (the original applicability date was January 1, 2000, then postponed to February 29, 2000). This delay will give agencies time to work out the details of implementation of the mandatory use of the travel charge card regulations.

EDITOR'S NOTE: See the January 19, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 90; Mandatory Use of the Travel Charge Card" for more on the travel charge card regulations.

GSA has already granted extensions to the Departments of Defense, State, and Veterans Affairs because of difficulties they had implementing the regulations on such short notice. See the March 6, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Mandatory Travel Card Date Extended to May 1, 2000, for Department of Defense Personnel", and the March 9, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Mandatory Travel Card Date Extended to May 1, 2000, for Departments of State and Veterans Affairs."

EFFECTIVE DATE: The provisions of the final rule remain effective July 16, 1999, when the interim rule was published. The applicability date of the January 19, 2000, final rule is delayed from February 29, 2000, until May 1, 2000, or until the issuance of agency implementing regulations, whichever occurs first.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra Batton, Travel and Transportation Management Policy Division, 202-501-1538.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In Public Law 105-264, paragraph (a) of Section 2, Requiring Use of the Travel Charge Card, 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."

On July 16, 1999, GSA issued an interim rule which amended the FTR to implement this requirement, applicable to all travel performed after January 1, 2000, and requested comments. Based on the comments received, GSA finalized the interim rule on January 19, 2000, and extended the date for mandatory use until after February 29, 2000. However, the Departments of Defense, State, Veterans Affairs, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission appealed to GSA for an extension, and GSA granted extensions until May 1, 2000. Many other agencies also sought extensions, primarily because they now rely on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software to manage their travel functions, and the commercial software manufacturers could not (or did not) update the software in time to meet the February 29, 2000, date. Therefore, GSA decided to grant all agencies an extension until May 1, 2000.

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

Copyright 2000 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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