GSA updates travel regs as E-Travel deadline nears

The General Services Administration has refined existing federal travel regulations as the deadline for agencies to implement an E-Travel system draws near.

In a recent notice, GSA said it had updated the Federal Travel Regulation to incorporate the use of E-Travel, which agencies must use almost exclusively starting Sept. 30.

Although the new regulations provide some flexibility, agencies will essentially be required to use the system next month.

Managed by GSA, the E-Travel system was one of the original 25 E-Government initiatives. It is an effort to encourage agencies to streamline their travel costs by using a standardized portal that lets employees keep track of their own travel expenses.

GSA, in its notice, said employees should use an E-Travel system whenever possible, though agencies can grant an exception when such use:
  • Would result in an unreasonable burden on mission accomplishment (e.g., emergency travel)
  • Would compromise a national security interest
  • Might endanger life (e.g., someone traveling under the witness protection program).

The notice also reminds agencies to meet with OMB as soon as possible, if they haven't already, to allocate budget and personnel resources to meet the Sept. 30 deadline.

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