IG calls for halt of Defense Travel System

IG calls for halt of Defense Travel System

The Defense Department should halt funding of its Defense Travel System until a study can determine whether it is the most cost-effective approach to streamlining the travel process, the Pentagon inspector general recommends.

Defense officials, including the DTS program office, disagree with the recommendation and contend that progress is being made on the program.

Although Defense brass won’t stop work on the initial rollout of the system designed to consolidate and automate the travel process at DOD, they agreed to perform a cost-effectiveness study. The results are due by Oct. 1.

In a July 1 draft report, David Steensma, acting assistant IG for auditing, said the DTS project had been managed ineffectively, resulting in missed deadlines, cost overruns and system failures.

Steensma recommended that DOD suspend development and deployment of DTS pending the cost-effectiveness study. He also said DTS should be managed as a major automated information systems acquisition, subject to the requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act, to ensure proper oversight. Defense’s CIO currently classifies the project as a special-interest initiative.

“DOD envisioned that DTS would represent a 21st-century model of efficiency and service, featuring the best practices in industry and plug-and-play components,” Steensma said in the report. That has yet to materialize, he said.

“Sound business practices and an information technology investment that borders on a half-billion dollars dictate a need for a process to assess progress toward established goals, especially for cost, performance, schedule and security. Such a process has not been established for DTS,” Steensma said.

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