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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: April 12, 2002

SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 104, Using Promotional Materials and Frequent Traveler Programs

SOURCE: Federal Register, April 12, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 71, page 17946

AGENCIES: Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: GSA is amending the FTR to remove those provisions which state that promotional benefits, including frequent flyer miles, earned on official travel are considered the property of the government and may only be used for official travel. This change is the result of a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, Public Law 107-107, which provides that federal employees may retain for personal use promotional benefits, including frequent flyer miles, earned on official travel.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The FTR is Chapters 300 through 304 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is available at http://policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtt/FTR/ftrhpfore.html#BMtablecont.

The regulations affected by this final rule are in Chapter 301, Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances, Part 301-10, Transportation Expenses, and Part 301-53, Using Promotional Materials and Frequent Traveler Programs.

For more on the acquisition-related provisions of the FY2002 National Defense Authorization Act, see the January 2, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002."

For more on a similar change made to the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR), see the April 11, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR) Amendment E-279, Frequent Flyer Miles Earned on Official Travel."

DATES: The final rule is effective April 12, 2002, and it applies to travel performed before, on, or after December 28, 2001, the date Public Law 107-107 was signed into law.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Harte, Program Analyst (Travel Team Leader and Facilitator), 202-501-0483.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1995 (Public Law 103-355), Section 6008, Cost Savings for Official Travel, required that promotional items, including frequent flyer miles, earned on official travel were to be used only for official travel. This provision was reflected in FTR Part 301-53, particularly FTR 301-53.1, What must I do with promotional benefits or materials I receive from a travel service provider? ("any promotional benefits or material you receive from a private source in connection with official travel are considered property of the government"), and FTR 301-53.4, How may I use frequent traveler benefits? ("you may use frequent traveler benefits earned on official travel to obtain travel services for a subsequent official travel assignment(s)").

On December 28, 2001, President Bush signed into law Public Law 107-107, and its Section 1116, Retention of Travel Promotional Items, repealed Section 6008 of Public Law 103-355, so employees are now permitted to retain such benefits for personal use. Therefore, FTR Part 301-53 is revised to reflect this change.

The revised FTR Part 301-53 consists of the following:

     301-53.1To whom do the pronouns "I", "you", and their variants refer throughout this part?
     301-53.2What may I do with promotional benefits or materials I receive from a travel service provider?
     301-53.3How may I use frequent traveler benefits?
     301-53.4May I select travel service providers for which my agency is not a mandatory user in order to maximize my frequent traveler benefits?
     301-53.5Are there exceptions to the mandatory use of contract city-pair fares and an agency's travel management system?
     301-53.6Is a denied boarding benefit considered a promotional item for which I may retain compensation received from an airline whether voluntary or involuntary?

The most significant revisions made to reflect the changes made by Public Law 107-107 are in FTR 301-53.2 ("any promotional benefits or materials received from a travel service provider in connection with official travel may be retained for personal use, if such items are obtained under the same conditions as those offered to the general public and at no additional cost to the government") and FTR 301-53.3 ("you may use frequent traveler benefits earned on official travel to obtain travel services for a subsequent official travel assignment(s); however, you may also retain such benefits for your personal use, including upgrading to a higher class of service").

In addition, the following changes are made to FTR Part 301-10:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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