E-Travel deal goes to Northrop Grumman, Carson Wagonlit

The General Services Administration has awarded its E-Travel program contract to two companies, which will now compete to provide complete online travel management services to federal civilian agencies, GSA officials announced Aug. 15.

The 10-year, $450 million, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract was awarded Aug. 13 to the Mission Systems unit of Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel Inc. of San Antonio.

"We saw two exceptional providers on cost, value and creativity," said Tim Burke, E-Travel program manager.

The two companies will provide end-to-end solutions that handle everything from processing travel authorizations and creating reservations to claims submission and voucher reconciliation.

E-Travel is one of 25 cross-agency e-government initiatives that seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations. If agencies continued buying travel services using their current procedures, they would spend about $1 billion over the next 10 years. With E-Travel, costs should be half as much, Burke said.

The two services will be available for governmentwide use by December. All civilian agencies are expected to complete migration to the new services by Sept. 30, 2006, according to GSA.

GSA, with 22 other agencies, conducted a six-month review before choosing the two contractors. Their solutions are similar; the primary difference between them is their user interfaces, Burke said. The contractors will be able to refresh their software periodically so the services will stay state of the art, he said.

The solution fielded by Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, in Reston, Va., is called GovTrip. The Northrop Grumman service includes implementation, training and the capability to interact with agency financial systems. Company staff will work with agencies to configure GovTrip to support their travel processes and preferences, said Leo Hergenroeder, Northrop Grumman's E-Travel service program manager.

"We think we have a very attractive value proposition and we will be able to win most of the task orders," he said.

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