Suggest GSA collaborate with the Defense Department by using the Defense Travel System (DTS) software/web site. DTS satisfies all the GSA goals and is already developed. By joining with DoD to use DTS, other agencies can take advantage of the low cost contract airfares, hotels, and rental cars. DTS is a forward-thinking tool that enhances transparency and helps to hold agencies accountable for what they are spending on travel.
DTS visually displays data to provide meaningful insights that can help drive smarter travel decisions by federal employees. DTS... 1) Visually displays data in a way that will show agencies how and where they are spending money on travel, and 2) Through analysis of the data, DTS shows primary categories or cost drivers that can enable federal agencies to reduce and/or contain official travel costs compared to appropriate benchmarks (as determined through research as well as the sample data provided). Focus on attributes that consistently result in the travelers acquiring the lowest cost of a trip. Use this information to benchmark historical data against real time planning and provide action items to help travel managers monitor and improve traveler behaviors, resulting in greater travel savings through transparency. Finally, identify valuable insights that could be gained through improved data collection efforts.
GSA should also collaborate with DoD in negotiating fare rates, hotel rates, per diem rates, etc., that are applicable to all federal government agencies to save costs government wide. The large economy of scale of all the government agencies will drive costs down.
Recommend GSA use DTS instead of re-inventing a tool. DTS is already used successfully DoD-wide and is secure. This will be lower cost and be available sooner!