Temporary Duty Travel in the Management and Operation of Department of Defense Programs

FPCD-77-84: Published: Oct 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1977.

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The Federal Government spends about $2 billion each year for travel in the management and operation of Federal programs. The Department of Defense (DOD) accounts for about $1.4 billion of this travel, including about $870 million for temporary duty travel in fiscal year 1976. Program managers have primary responsibility for insuring the most effective use of their program budgets, including the nature and extent of travel.

There are important differences in the policies that should be set for the Federal Government for the different types of program-related travel. There are diverse reasons for temporary duty travel such as to perform program inspections and evaluations, to participate in meetings or training programs, and to engage in public relations activities. Guidelines that attempt to cover all these categories seem to be too general for day-to-day use by program managers. Management could improve its control over travel by making internal reviews that emphasize the application of travel policies and procedures to reduce unnecessary travel.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should: revise its guidelines to focus more specifically on the purpose of travel; require DOD to revise its reporting system and internal review and audit approaches to follow the new guidance; and, after implementing the revised guidelines and the reporting and review systems, assess the performance at that time to see if further action is needed to improve management of travel funds made available to program managers. The Director of OMB, the Administrator of the General Services Administration, and the Secretary of Defense should establish procedures to verify the accuracy of reported travel costs.

    Agency Affected:


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