News Briefs

GSA picks E-Travel vendors

The General Services Administration has picked Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel Inc. to provide Web-based travel management for the federal government.

The $450 million contract is a major milestone for E-Travel, one of the 24 e-government initiatives. The 10-year contract is expected to cut federal travel management costs in half, a GSA spokesperson said.

The goal is to create a Web-based system that all agencies will use to make travel arrangements and purchase tickets. The system will manage all aspects of travel, including planning and reimbursement.

From the beginning, the plan was to have a commercial firm host and maintain the E-Travel Web site to minimize the cost to the government while delivering quality service, according to GSA.

GSA chose the two companies after a six-month evaluation process. Northrop Grumman is based in Fairfax, Va., and Carson Wagonlit is in San Antonio, Texas.

OMB revises A-76 revision

Under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act, federal officials must determine which agency jobs could be performed by commercial businesses and thus could potentially be opened to public/private competition.

The original version of the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76 allowed federal employees and others to challenge the inclusion or omission of specific jobs on the list of activities eligible for competition, but some observers thought a revision published in May took away that right. The revision stated that inventory challenges are limited to the "reclassification of an activity as inherently governmental or commercial" and to the use of "reason codes" to exempt commercial activities from competition.

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