DoD needs Congress' help to reengineer travel laws, policies, and processes in order to make defense travel simpler. Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Legislation, David Fisher (Director, Business Transformation Agency) and Pamela Mitchell (Director, Defense Travel Management Office) told members that the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) have, over time, become “unwieldy documents that can be confusing, and occasionally contradictory.” And, witnesses said, continuing policy changes reflected in law have added to the difficulties. Fisher and Mitchell did agree that the Defense Travel System (DTS) should be reviewed and transformed, but advised that this effort cannot be completed before changes are made to travel legislation and policies. Congress required DoD to submit a plan to simplify defense travel in the FY2010 Defense Authorization Act. Some subcommittee members reminded witnesses that Congress and travelers have been critical of the cost and time it has taken to revamp defense travel over that past 15 years. The witnesses responded by insisting that progress has been made, citing reductions in the cost of processing travel vouchers. And, they noted that DoD travelers have expressed satisfaction by gradually increasing their use of the DTS system to make travel arrangements (86% in FY2009). However, the witnesses did acknowledge that continued improvements are needed in order to guarantee a stable, reliable, and secure system for the long term. A major component of this effort will be modernizing the software platform. To that end, DTS has decided to concentrate on completing the “Technical Refresh” of the system and fixing “problems with the highest impact on travelers.”
DoD asks Congress to simplify travel regulations
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