Federal Government Seeks Public Solution to Spending Less on Travel

Laralova/Shutterstock.com

The federal government is offering $90,000 to people who can help reduce its travel costs.

Uncle Sam spends about $9 billion annually on travel, and the General Services Administration is turning to its own crowdsourcing website for help reducing that tab. GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy opened its Travel Data Challenge on Challenge.gov last week, asking the public to create a “digital interactive tool” that highlights the shortcomings and inefficiencies of current government travel policy.

GSA is “looking to bring a quantitative approach to the data the federal government collects in order to help agencies make smarter business decisions, and to allow them to drive greater saving and efficiencies,” according to the posting. The grand prize winner will receive $35,000, the runner up $30,000 and the honorable mention recipient $25,000.

The Obama administration has frequently targeted travel expenses as a means to reduce spending, including a memo instructing agencies to reduce travels costs by 30 percent compared to fiscal 2010 from 2013 through 2016. While the new tool will not be made public, the initiative aims to enhance internal transparency and increase accountability for travel expenses at each agency.

GSA will provide interested parties with sample travel data from its own expenditures, but wants a tool adaptable for every agency. It should ultimately provide new information beyond what is already readily available and identify what information the government is not collecting but should.

The tool should use visual displays to show primary cost drivers, GSA said, and allow travel managers to monitor travelers’ behaviors and suggest improvements. The winning proposal will not just conveniently gather and display data but actively provide recommendations for how agencies can operate more efficiently.

The program should evaluate trends such as the cheapest time of year to travel and how far in advance travelers should book their trips.

(Image via Laralova/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.