Use of Contractor for Travel Services

PLRD-82-35: Published: Jan 25, 1982. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the Health Services Administration's (HSA) use of a contractor to provide travel services for its corps of medical recruits and volunteers. HSA entered into this contract to alleviate the considerable burden of travel assistance work performed for this corps as additional duties by HSA personnel. During their 2-year service period, members of the medical corps are required to travel and relocate to medically underserved areas, but most have no experience with Government travel regulations and the associated paperwork.

Despite some defects in the contract itself and problems in subsequent administration, GAO found that the contractor's performance was satisfactory and had been well received. For the most part, the defects have been corrected and the succeeding contract is being performed at a significant cost reduction. GAO also found that only one other of the agencies identified as heavy users of travel and transportation services has contracted out these services. GAO pointed out that the other agencies do not have a large corps of quasi-Government personnel who are required to live, work, and travel in the Federal environment during a relatively short career. Nevertheless, the concept of contracting out for travel services was found to have merit provided that proper cost comparisons are made and the contractor's performance is monitored.

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