Switch to New Travel System Could be Costly for Agencies

August 13, 2012

Civilian agencies may be forced to pay millions of dollars in extra costs and suffer delays as they transition to a new automated travel management system.

That is in part because of an industry challenge that has sidelined a $1.4 billion e-travel contract award by the General Services Administration.

In a June 15 protest filed with the Government Accountability Office, incumbent vendor CWT Sato Travel claimed that agencies will be forced to pay millions of dollars in transition and training costs for tens of thousands of employees under GSA’s contract award to Washington-based Concur Technologies.

The new contract differs markedly from GSA’s current e-travel contract, which offers three vendors from which agencies can choose.

Concur says it expects to save the government billions of dollars over the next 15 years through its new system, which is expected to provide feds with a better display of pricing options, similar to commercial travel websites like Orbitz and Travelocity, and easier navigation. The company also offers a mobile application for feds to create and approve expense reports, book flights and hotels and do other tasks while traveling.

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