GSA Actions to Improve Federal Travel Management

AIMD-96-83R: Published: May 24, 1996. Publicly Released: May 24, 1996.

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GAO reviewed the General Services Administration's (GSA) actions to improve temporary duty travel management. GAO noted that GSA could improve governmentwide travel processes by: (1) establishing travel data standards and assisting in agency benchmarking efforts; (2) revising the federal travel regulations, evaluating a proposal to publish a temporary duty travel guide and a relocation travel guide that would simplify most travel processes, and revising and simplifying statutes and regulations; and (3) forming and supporting a users group to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The General Services Administration's (GSA) e-Travel initiative was selected in September 2001 as one of the Office of Management and Budget's 24 e-government initiatives. It was established to provide the federal government with a single, unified, simplified service that delivers cost-effective travel information and transactions. Specifically, it is intended to create a (1) government-wide, web-based, end-to-end travel management service, (2) cost model that reduces or eliminates travel-based capital investment for the Government, and (3) a policy environment based on the use of best travel management practices. According to GSA's plans, a fully integrated Web-based service is planned to be deployed by December 30, 2003. Based on GSA's plans for the e-Travel portal, several agencies have already stopped or delayed plans to implement their own, agency-specific travel management systems.

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should facilitate and coordinate the various travel improvement efforts that are planned or under way by agencies across the government and establish specific time frames for accomplishing travel improvement goals. These improvement efforts may include pilot projects to evaluate different alternatives, benchmarking initiatives to assess and compare current performance, and performance measures to measure progress.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation is an office in GSA. The recommendations were not intended to make a distinction between actions taken by GSA versus actions taken by the Office and Planning and Evaluation. (See this 66 for target 1).

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should facilitate and coordinate the various travel improvement efforts that are planned or under way by agencies across the government and establish specific time frames for accomplishing travel improvement goals. These improvement efforts may include pilot projects to evaluate different alternatives, benchmarking initiatives to assess and compare current performance, and performance measures to measure progress.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration: Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA has revised the appropriate portions of the Federal Travel Regulations to reflect legislative changes initiated by the Travel Reform Act. These were published March 21, 1997, on the GSA Home Page.

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should assess and revise the federal travel regulations.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation is an office in GSA. The recommendations were not intended to make a distinction between actions taken by GSA versus actions taken by the Office and Planning and Evaluation. (See this 66 for target 1).

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should assess and revise the federal travel regulations.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration: Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA uses three principal groups to facilitate sharing of knowledge and information--ITMC, the Interagency Travel Advisory Board, and the Deputy CFOs Council. ITMC has various subcommittees to deal with specific issues and co-sponsors travel forums with the CFO Council, the Federal Financial Managers' Association, and JFMIP that provide an overview on a variety of travel topics. GSA also disseminates information electronically to communicate with travel policy users through the GSA Internet Home Page, Financenet, FEDWORLD and other web sites. GSA continues to support the recommendation of a cross-servicing directory and an applications directory, but believes that CFOC and JFMIP, with GSA as a participant, provide a more suitable forum for a cross-servicing directory, since the services provided generally encompass a broader range of accounting services than just travel claim review.

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should establish and support a users group to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation is an office in GSA. The recommendations were not intended to make a distinction between actions taken by GSA versus actions taken by the Office and Planning and Evaluation. (See this 66 for target 1).

    Recommendation: GSA and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation should establish and support a users group to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration: Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation

 

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