Review of Proposal for Establishing a Centralized Government Travel Agency

LCD-78-209: Published: Feb 3, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 1982.

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A Government-wide automated airline reservation and ticketing system was proposed to reduce costs by using fewer people. The basis for savings in the proposal is the reduction of personnel currently processing travel reservations, direct labor, and the elimination of indirect labor, such as secretaries, involved in the travel process. The savings in indirect labor would not be realized by eliminating any personnel, but would represent incremental savings of time which could be devoted to more productive functions. In addition, overpayments to airlines believed to occur in current procedures could be eliminated. Current and proposed cost estimates cannot be validated because the basic data used in the proposal were unreliable. Centralized system equipment costs were estimated to be about $960,000 based on the proposal's estimate of travel volume. This estimate was preliminary and was apparently based on a misunderstanding of the system's concept. Abandoning independently developed agency reservation and ticketing systems in favor of a centralized system requires planning, coordination, and consensus. The proposed system appears to be technically feasible because of its similarity to systems used by major airlines. However, alternative methods have not been considered.

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