The Defense Department announced it awarded a $9.3 million contract to a company to develop a replacement for its travel booking system. This would make it easier for Defense Department employees and military personnel to book travel or be reimbursed for official expense.
SAP Concur will create a prototype that will eventually replace the Defense Travel System, which the department described as “aging and inefficient”. The Defense Travel System, which first came online in 2001, is the method by which 70% of Defense Department official travel is booked and accounts for $9 billion in travel spending. It’s also the primary method department employees and members of the military use to file for reimbursement of expenses while on temporary duty assignment.
Officials said they plan to incorporate changes to Joint Travel Regulations to not only make the system easier for employees to use but cheaper. The improvements will include mandating the use of low-cost non-refundable airline tickets in markets where fares are not pre-negotiated and the capability to adopt private-sector travel processes through IT solutions.
A key point of focus for SAP Concur, who specializes in travel and expense management services for businesses and organizations, will be to reduce the “time and effort” needed for defense travelers to use the system.
“We have a responsibility to ensure our resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner, and given this specific project has such a wide-ranging and deep impact—reforms with results like these are critical,” said John Gibson, chief management officer of the Defense Department.
SAP Concur is expected to complete the prototype within 24 months, the department said.