Part 301-73-Travel Programs

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 121(c).

Subpart A-General Rules

§301-73.1 What does the Federal travel management program include?

The Federal travel management program includes-

  1. A travel authorization and claim system that implements the related requirements of the Federal Travel Regulation. (See §§301-2.1 and 301-52.3 and part 301-71 of this chapter for those requirements);

  2. A TMS that provides reservation and ticketing support and management reports on reservation and ticketing activities. (See §301-73.106 for specific services that should be provided by a TMS);

  3. A Travel payment system for paying travel service providers in accordance to §§301-73.300 and 301-73.301 of this chapter;

  4. Contracts and similar arrangements, with transportation and lodging providers (e.g. Government-contract air carriers, rental car companies, trains, hotels (e.g., FedRooms properties), etc.) that give preferential rates and other benefits to Federal travelers on official business; and

  5. A Travel Management Reporting System that covers financial and other travel characteristics required by the biennial Travel Survey (see §§300-70.1 through 300-70.4 of this title).

Note to §301-73.1: The E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) fulfills the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (e) of this section.

§301-73.2 What are our responsibilities as participants in the Federal travel management program?

As a participant in the Federal travel management program, you must-

  1. Designate an authorized representative to administer the program including leading your agency's migration of ETS;

  2. Ensure that you have internal policies and procedures in place to govern use of the program including a plan and timeline to implement ETS no later than December 31, 2004, with agency-wide migration to ETS completed no later than September 30, 2006;

  3. Establish a plan that will measure direct and indirect cost savings and management efficiencies through the use of ETS once deployed. This plan must include your migration plan and schedule which must be submitted by March 31, 2004 to the E-Gov Travel Program Management Office (PMO) (see §301-73.101);

  4. Require employees to use ETS in lieu of your TMS as soon as it becomes available in your agency (unless an exception has been granted in accordance with §§301-73.102 or 301-73.104), but no later than September 30, 2006; and

  5. Ensure that any agency-contracted travel agency services (TMS) complement and support ETS in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Subpart B-eTravel Service and Travel Management Service

§301-73.100 Must we require employees to use the E-Gov Travel Service?

Yes, unless you have an exception to the use of the ETS (see §§301-73.102 and 301-73.104), you must have fully deployed the ETS across your agency and require employees to use the ETS for all temporary duty travel no later than September 30, 2006. Agencies must submit their ETS migration plans and schedules by March 31, 2004 to the eTravel PMO, (see §301-73.101). You must implement the ETS no later than December 31, 2004, and require employees to use the ETS as soon as it becomes available in your agency. The Department of Defense and the Government of the District of Columbia are not subject to this requirement.

Notes to §301-73.100: (1) You have the option to use the contracted travel agent service(s) of your choice (through the ETS or other contract vehicles). You have the responsibility for ensuring agency-contracted travel agent services complement and support the ETS in an efficient and cost effective manner. (2) Award of a task order to a vendor on the ETS Master Contract constitutes ETS implementation. Agency-wide use of the ETS for all travel management processes and travel claim submission constitutes complete migration.

§301-73.101 How must we prepare to implement ETS?

You must prepare to implement ETS as expeditiously as possible by-

  1. Developing a migration plan and schedule to deploy ETS across your agency as early as possible with full deployment required no later than September 30, 2006;

  2. Requiring employees to use your ETS unless you approve an exception under §301-50.6, §301-73.102 or §301-73.104;

  3. Establishing goals, plans and procedures to maximize agency-wide traveler use of your online self-service booking tool once you have fully deployed ETS within your agency. These goals, plans, and procedures should be available for submission to the ETS PMO upon its request.

Note 1 to §301-73.101: Your agency should work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to allocate budget and personnel resources to support ETS migration and data exchange. Your agency is responsible for providing the funds required to establish interfaces between the ETS standard data output and applicable business systems (e.g., financial, human resources, etc.)

Note 2 to §301-73.101: Best practices show that organizations are able to realize significant benefits once they achieve a 70 percent or greater self-booking rate.

§301-73.102 May we grant a traveler an exception from required use of TMS or ETS once we have fully deployed ETS within the agency?
  1. Yes, your agency head or his/her designee may grant an individual case by case exception to required use of your agency's current TMS or to required use of ETS once it is fully deployed within the agency, but only when travel meets one of the following conditions:

    1. Such use would result in an unreasonable burden on mission accomplishment (e.g., emergency travel is involved and TMS/ETS is not accessible; the traveler is performing invitational travel; or the traveler has special needs or requires disability accommodations in accordance with part 301-13 of this chapter).

    2. Such use would compromise a national security interest.

    3. Such use might endanger the traveler's life (e.g., the individual is traveling under the Federal witness protection program, or is a threatened law enforcement/investigative officer traveling under part 301-31 of this chapter).

  2. Any exception granted must be consistent with any contractual terms applicable to your current TMS or ETS, once it is fully deployed, and must not cause a breach of contract terms.

§301-73.103 What must we do when we approve an exception to use of the E-Gov Travel Service?

The head of your agency or his/her designee must approve an exception to the use of the ETS under §301-73.102 in writing or through electronic means.

§301-73.104 May further exceptions to the required use of the E-Gov Travel Service be approved?
  1. The Administrator of General Services or his/her designee may grant an agency-wide exception (or exempt a component thereof) from the required use of ETS when requested by the head of a Department (cabinet-level agency) or head of an Independent agency when-

    1. The agency has presented a business case analysis to the General Services Administration that proves that it has an alternative TMS to the ETS that is in the best interest of the Government and the taxpayer (i.e., the agency has evaluated the economic and service values offered by the ETS contractor(s) compared to those offered by the agency's current Travel Management Service (TMS) and has determined that the agency's current TMS is a better value);

    2. The agency has security, secrecy, or protection of information issues that cannot be mitigated through security provided by the ETS contractors;

    3. The agency lacks the technology necessary to access ETS; or

    4. The agency has critical and unique technology or business requirements that cannot be accommodated by the ETS contractors at all or at an acceptable and reasonable price (e.g., majority of travel is group-travel).

  2. As a condition of receiving an exception, the agency must agree to conduct annual business case reviews of its TMS and must provide to the eTravel PMO data elements required by the eTravel PMO in a format prescribed by the eTravel PMO.

  3. Requests for exceptions should be sent to the Administrator, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405 with full justification and/or analysis addressing paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(4) of this section.

§301-73.105 What are the consequences of an employee not using the E-Gov Travel Service or the TMS?

If an employee does not use the ETS (when available) or your agency's designated TMS, he/she is responsible for any additional costs (see §301-50.5 of this chapter) resulting from the failure to use the ETS or your TMS. In addition, you may take appropriate disciplinary actions.

§301-73.106 What are the basic services that should be covered by a TMS?

The TMS must, at a minimum-

  1. Include a Travel Management Center (TMC), commercial ticket office (CTO), an in-house system, an electronically available system, or other method(s) of arranging travel, which has the ability to provide the following as appropriate to the agency's travel needs:

    1. Booking and fulfillment of common carrier arrangements (e.g., flight confirmation and seat assignment, compliance with the Fly America Act, Governmentwide travel policies, contract city-pair fares, electronic ticketing, ticket delivery, etc.).

    2. Lodging information (e.g., room availability, reservations and confirmation, compliance with Hotel/Motel Fire Safety Act, availability of FedRooms properties, per diem rate availability, etc.).

    3. Car rental and rail information (e.g., availability of Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) Government agreement rates where applicable, confirmation of reservations, etc.).

  2. Provide basic management information, such as-

    1. Number of reservations by type of service (common carrier, lodging, and car rental);

    2. Extent to which reservations are in compliance with policy and reasons for exceptions;

    3. Origin and destination points of common carrier usage;

    4. Destination points for lodging accommodations;

    5. Number of lodging nights in approved accommodations;

    6. City or location where car rentals are obtained; and

    7. Other tasks, e.g., reconciliation of charges on centrally billed accounts and processing ticket refunds.

Note to 301-73.106:The ETS fulfills the basic services of a TMS. You have the option to use the contracted travel agent service(s) of your choice through ETS or other contract vehicles. You have the responsibility to ensure that agency-contracted-for travel agent services complement and support the ETS in an efficient and cost effective manner. (See §301-73.2.)

Subpart C-Contract Passenger Transportation Services

§301-73.200 Must we require our employees to use GSA's contract passenger transportation services program?

Yes, if such services are available to your agency.

§301-73.201 What method of payment may be used for contract passenger transportation service?

GSA individual Government contractor-issued travel charge card(s), or your agency centrally billed or other established account, or a GTR (when no other option is available or feasible).

§301-73.202 Can contract fares be used for personal travel?


Subpart D-Travel Payment System

§301-73.300 What is a travel payment system?

A system to facilitate the payment of official travel and transportation expenses which includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Issuance and maintenance of Government contractor-issued individually billed charge cards;

  2. Establishment of centrally billed accounts for the purchase of travel and transportation services;

  3. Issuance of travelers checks; and

  4. Provision of automated-teller-machine (ATM) services worldwide.

§301-73.301 How do we obtain travel payment system services?

You may participate in GSA's or another Federal agency's travel payment system services program or you may contract directly with a travel payment system service if your agency has contracting authority and you are not a mandatory user of GSA's charge card program.

Note to §301-73.301: Under the new GSA charge card program effective November 30, 1998, it will be your responsibility to select the vendor that will be most beneficial to your agency's travel and transportation needs.

Last Reviewed: 2020-01-10