U.S. Marshals and VA finish testing automated travel systems

U.S. Marshals and VA finish testing automated travel systems

The Marshals Service and the Veterans Affairs Department are moving ahead with their own automated travel systems despite little word from the Office of Management and Budget or the General Services Administration about which e-travel system will be used for the governmentwide e-Travel initiative.

The Marshals Service finished its own pilot of an automated travel system in May and VA expects to finish its tests at the end of this month. Both are testing the same automated travel system, developed by Zegato Solutions Inc. of Lanham, Md.

VA was part of the pilot for e-Travel this summer. “We’ve been part of it since the beginning,” said Tammy Watson, director of electronic business solution services and one of 24 agency project managers within the OMB-sponsored e-Travel initiative.

VA last October put out a request for information for a travel system that would comply with OMB Circular A-125, the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program and VA’s own requirements. “We decided to do a live test pilot for 90 days,” Watson said.

The department installed Zegato e-travel systems at 14 VA offices for 1,000 employees.

After the pilot, a group of consultants hired by the VA will compile a report from testers for VA’s chief financial officer, William Campbell.

“From there, we’ll review that report and make a decision if we’re going forward with it,” Watson said. “We haven’t bought anything yet.”

If the VA does move forward with Zegato’s system, 355,000 employees will begin using the system by early next year, she said.

Meanwhile, VA will provide all documentation and results from the pilot to OMB and GSA so the two agencies can see which vendors would work with the e-Travel portal, she said.

GSA was expected to issue a request for proposals last month for an online booking tool before choosing other parts of the e-Travel system [www.gcn.com/21_23/news/19521-1.html]

“We haven’t heard anything from them about what’s going on and the status,” Watson said.

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