DATE: March 20, 2003

SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Bulletin 2003-B1, eTravel Initiative

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 54, page 13710

AGENCIES: General Services Administration (GSA)

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: GSA is notifying agencies of the availability of the Department of Transportation's FedTrip system as an interim online booking service available governmentwide for arranging temporary duty travel, pending implementation of the eTravel service, which is part of the President's Management Agenda and is expected to be available by December 2003.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the notice of the creation of the eTravel initiative and GSA's intent to require agencies to use the system by the end of 2003, see the July 25, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Bulletin 26, eTravel Initiative."

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 20, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Burke, General Services Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy (MTT), Washington, DC 20405; 703-872-8611; e-mail: timothy.burke@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On July 25, 2002, GSA announced the creation of the eTravel Initiative and of its intent to require agencies to use the governmentwide, web-based, end-to-end travel management system by the end of 2003. The eTravel Initiative is one of the Bush Administration's 24 "e-gov" initiatives that are intended to address performance gaps in existing government systems. The eTravel Initiative will establish a single portal by December 2003 that federal employees will use when making official business trips to obtain travel authorizations, make hotel and car rental reservations, and pay for airline tickets and other expenses. The system will work much like commercial web-based systems that the public uses to book business travel.

GSA is notifying agencies that FedTrip is available as the online booking service available governmentwide, and that it "should be agencies' first choice for making temporary duty travel arrangements, unless another online booking service has already been deployed, until the governmentwide, web-based end-to-end travel management service is available...Providing an online booking service is the initial phase of reengineering the entire travel process to realize significant cost savings to the government, to improve employees' productivity, and to provide a unified, simplified official travel process."

In addition, "each executive agency will be required to adopt an online booking service as part of its self-service travel process. Agencies are requested to develop a plan(s) (e.g., budget and personnel alignment) to achieve a high level of online booking service use by December 31, 2003. Such plan(s) will prepare agencies for implementation of the eTravel service...

"Each agency is requested to submit a report by December 31, 2003...on actions it has taken as of that date to achieve high-level usage of an online booking service for travel. This report should also describe the agency's plans to expand its usage of an online booking service for all of the agency's travel within the subsequent 12 months.

"Agencies are also requested to provide monthly reports on the number and dollar volume of tickets issued, as well as fees paid for online self-service bookings versus full service transaction. Agencies will benefit from this data enabling them to better manage cost/savings benefits and determining appropriate rate of transfer from a high cost full-service transaction to a lower cost self-service transaction...Agencies are strongly encouraged to use these reports to manage internal savings and monitor their adoption rate of self-service bookings."

The notice goes on to state, “If an online booking service is not currently deployed in an agency, officials responsible for managing the agency's travel program should take steps to implement an online booking service including coordination with their Travel Management Center (TMC) where applicable. Executive agency travel managers should contact Arnie Linares at 202-366-0520 or e-mail arnie.linares@ost.dot.gov to make the necessary arrangements to obtain FedTrip.”

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

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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