GSA has a sordid recent history when it comes to travel budgets and overspending, with words like Hawaii still being an open wound among Contracting Officers and Contractors alike. But steps taken since the affair have been sorting out this mess.
The GSA has implemented virtual contractor assistance visits, requiring less travel from its Contracting Officers and ensuring money savings for taxpayers. Another recent step has been the award of 2017 City Pair Program for Air Travel. Sometimes, the inevitability of traveling does occur for COs and the GSA must ensure that they are getting the best deal when spending tax payer money.
Awards were made to United, American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Alaska, and new Silver Airways cover 93% of trips flown (6,949 Domestic and 2,154 international destinations). The benefits of this service include:
- Fares priced on one-way routes, permitting agencies to plan multiple destinations
- No advance purchase required
- No minimum or maximum length stay required
- Fully refundable tickets
- Last seat availability
- No blackout periods
- Stable prices enabling travel budgeting
These benefits will ensure taxpayer money is never wasted when spending on air travel and the stable pricing will create an easier way to budget travel costs. The GSA has been taking many steps to regain the trust of taxpayers since 2012 and the new 2017 City Pair Program (after the success of the 2016) is another step in the right direction.