DOD to test travel system

An interim version of an automated travel system for the Defense Department

will be available to selected personnel this summer.

DOD and prime contractor TRW Inc. are testing the final version of the Defense

Travel System, which is scheduled for initial operational capability by

this fall. In the next few weeks, however, a limited version of the system

that will allow some DOD travelers to become accustomed to the new software

will be deployed.

Ultimately, DTS will enable about 3 million DOD users to have travel authorized

and reserved and receive reimbursement from DOD accounting systems by connecting

to the Defense Travel System Regional Data Center and commercial reservation

systems.

The DTS-Limited system will not be connected to the data center but will

allow access through Gelco Information Network Inc.'s Travel Manager software

to authorizations and commercial reservations systems, said Rich Fabbre,

TRW's DTS program manager.

The earliest users of DTS-Limited will be the users scheduled for later

deployments of full DTS, Fabbre said. The deployment of the full system

will take two-and-a-half to three years.

TRW expects about $263.7 million in transactions over five years on the

full DTS system, he said.

The company was awarded the contract by DOD in May 1998. Electronic Data

Systems Corp. protested the award, and work was reinstated to TRW in October

1998, putting the project about 100 days behind schedule. Work on the system

has fallen about a year behind schedule because of the complexity of testing

all of the scenarios that could occur, Fabbre said.

The Transportation Department is working on similar travel reservation and

expense service for civilian federal agencies. The site, fedtrip.gov, is

being tested at the Federal Aviation Administration. The DOT released a

draft solicitation for commercial Web-based travel and expense services

Tuesday.

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