GSA wants big data solution for travel spending

GSA releases request for information as it develops a contract to bring the power of data analytics to travel expenses and ultimately lower costs.

The General Services Administration is developing a contract to apply the power of data analytics to the government’s spending on travel and step one is building a system to collect and analyze travel data from across the government.

According to a request for information, GSA wants to collect and aggregate data from multiple sources and analyze that data so the government can make better decisions and drive down costs.

GSA estimates that the government spends $15 billion annual on travel services. The agency says it created the GSA Travel MIS in a move to standardize travel data, but “despite these efforts and the progress they have helped make, the government travel data remains highly fragmented,” GSA said.

The RFI is looking for information in three basic areas: aggregation, reporting and advanced analytics. The solicitation number is QMACB-MM-13-0009.

In the area of aggregation, GSA is interested in single standardized repositories for each data source type. For example, data from multiple travel agencies being aggregated into a single standardized database. They are looking for the same for credit cards.

The government would like to collect information from E-Gov Travel System and the Defense Travel System as well as travel charge card vendors, government-servicing travel agencies, commercial travel offices, air and rail settlement data, airlines, rental car companies and hotels.

GSA’s goal is to use a strategic sourcing approach to leverage the volume of government travel to lower prices. It also wants better travel management to monitor behavior, program usage and travel spending, including bookings, reimbursement, identification of cost drivers and potential areas of savings and waste.

Responses are due Sept. 16.

Send questions or concerns regarding this RFI through e-mail to and CC or write to at:

Attn: Travel Management Information Service RFI

Office of Travel and Transportation

US General Services Administration

1800 F St., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20405

GSA also is planning a webinar on the RFI on Sept. 5. To register, send an e-mail to with subject “MIS RFI Info Session.” You should identify your organization, your name, your contact e-mail and phone number, and names of any additional attendees who will join you. GSA will send an email confirmation and instructions for signing into the session shortly after your registration is received.

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