Streamlining DOD travel regs
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Jun 19, 2000
The Defense Integrated Travel and Relocation Solutions Office, an office
of the secretary of Defense, is trying to re-engineer the fragmented and
time-consuming way permanent-duty travel is coordinated. DITRS hopes to
create a seamless, paperless and electronic process that will improve customer
satisfaction and enhance the quality of life for service members.
As part of the 2001 Defense Authorization Act, DITRS sent a legislative
package to Congress that would allow DOD to pay an upfront allowance for
temporary lodging expenses in the United States rather than reimburse members
later. It would also allow DOD to pay service members a lump sum in advance
for temporary lodging overseas.
Other provisions would enable service members to share savings with
DOD for transporting less household goods than the maximum allowance and
for choosing not to ship a privately owned vehicle.
The General Services Administration is also revising federal travel
regulations to comply with plain-language guidance and is reviewing a draft
of the rules for permanent relocation, said Bill Rivers, acting director
of the Travel Management Policy Division in GSA's Office of Governmentwide
The paper version of the regulations will be replaced by fully Internet-based
travel regulations, including a chat room, Rivers said. The regulations
will link to related Web sites outside of government.
As agencies such as GSA and DOD revise their relocation policies and
procedures to make life easier for government employees, federal requirements
will drive the travel- software industry, said Amber Tucker, a vice president
at Cendant Mobility Services Corp. and a certified relocation professional.
Tucker foresees a totally automated move- management system with features
such as virtual relocation stations that can be used to access counselors