Agencies given a year to begin move to E-Travel

Civilian agencies must choose one of three online travel systems and begin migrating to it by Dec. 31 of next year.

The General Services Administration published a final rule on E-Travel migration plans in today's Federal Register.

Agencies can choose from three end-to-end online travel services systems, from Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel Inc. of San Antonio, EDS Corp. and the Mission Systems unit of Northrop Grumman Corp.

GSA awarded 10-year contracts to Carlson and Northrop in August and in November added EDS after it protested. The three contracts are jointly worth $450 million.

The rule also requires agencies to submit plans to GSA's E-Travel Program Management Office by March 31 on how they will implement their new systems. Agencies have until Sept. 30, 2006, to complete the transition.

"The migration plan represents tasks and key decisions each agency must map out in order to make an informed and intelligent decision regarding its E-Travel Service migration," GSA said in the notice.

GSA, which released a proposed rule in June, will not require the Defense Department to choose a new system. GSA noted in the final rule that DOD has its own system but can use the civilian E-Travel systems if it wants or needs to use one.

Each agency's travel system must connect to its financial management system, and eventually the travel systems all will connect to a GSA-run data warehouse.

The Office of Management and Budget and GSA are working to identify funds to pay for the migrations. E-Travel is one of OMB's 25 Quicksilver e-government initiatives.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News magazine.

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