DOT makes the move

Recent upgrades to Gelco Information Network's Travel Manager software came just in time to benefit the Transportation Department as it implements a consolidated trip-planning and expense system for all 23 of its operating administrations.

DOT awarded a contract to PricewaterhouseCoopers last month to integrate the Web-based travel and expense system and to maintain it as an application service provider. The system, built on Gelco's Travel Manager, is already in operation at the Federal Aviation Administration's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., said David Kleinberg, DOT's deputy chief financial officer.

DOT is one of the first agencies to use Travel Manager 8.0. As soon as the system is fully tested by Technical Center employees, who have used earlier versions of Travel Manager, the agency will expand the system to the rest of the FAA and other DOT administrations, Kleinberg said. Eventually, the system might be opened to other federal agencies as a fee-based service, and it will interact with DOT's FedTrip online travel booking system, he said.

Travel Manager's changes were not designed specifically for DOT, said Daniel Ragheb, Gelco's vice president of marketing. But Gelco did view DOT's requirements as a model for the direction other government agencies may pursue, he said.

"We thought of private-sector functionality with government regulations," Ragheb said.

Unlike the Defense Travel System, which has been hampered by unique requirements and problems with testing, the DOT system is more realistic in scope, he said. Where Gelco lacks functions available in other systems, DOT required only that Travel Manager interact with those systems, rather than modifying Travel Manager to perform those functions, he said.

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