In 2004 The Deputy of Defense authorized the development of a defense travel system for Army, Marine, Navy and Air-force travelers. In partnership with industry and other federal agencies, the Defense Travel System (DTS) is a centralized system for commercial travel that is not unlike civilian travel systems however it offers discounted and allocated air, bus and other transportation systems that saves money, creates support mechanisms for the traveler, reduces errors and has an end-to-end process in place that allows for multiple destination travel, short-notice changes and immediate reimbursement of expenses. This travel system uses The City Pair Program (CPPS) which is an airline program that provides airline transportation to the Department of Defense for its registered travelers that is fully integrated, automatic, electronic and end-to-end transportation using airlines at discounted rates and last-minute availability. The cost savings is significant, there are fewer errors, and the non-civilian traveler has services available that suit their special requirements; easy access to information; and reliable reservations for travel plans that may be subject to change in route and destination.
The Defense Travel System (DTA) can be user-only-supportive and assist with defining problems encountered, answering questions and defining entitlements, it is may be other-supportive, using help desks or Organizational Defence Travel Agents (ODTA)'s for assistance. A software package is used. There with common access cards that are used and individual PIN login allow access to individual accounts and troubleshooting information. Most errors with the system are due to incorrect initial set-up information or erroneous log-ins. It is advised that the traveler check into the system initially to check for factual errors and to check for long-in errors inn the event of the rejection of a request. Electronic reimbursements of expenses is convenient in that it is done in one place. If the voucher is lost, its status can be tracked and signature checked electronically. The authorized user can also request partial payment on vouchers and can add receipts to the voucher at any time.
Defense Travel Systems (DTS) travel policies and classes are available on-line in an online classroom called E-Collab Online. This classroom provides 1) Travel classes; 2) How to Access Approval to take Official Classes; DTA classes; and several Finance Classes, including debt management. The travel classes include the following:
- Document Processing
- Travel Planning
- Cancellation Processes
- Itinerary Adjustments
Detractors have stated that the system is not up to speed despite the fact that defence spent $30 million on the project. Development and testing is not are track and use is lower than expected. Now under the management of the Business Transformation Agency, DTS devotes a small percentage of effort and expenditure on travel and more on accounting systems and services that allow for data collection to negotiate hotel, rental, car and other services to accommodate the activities of government workers through this changing medium of travel for the armed service and other related government personnel.
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