Excessive processing fees are needlessly charged and many times inflated prices for flights are billed to the federal government through the travel system. The government is charged for every voucher processed through the system. The simplest voucher that pays an employee a single per diem without hotel charges, costs the government over $13; and the travel agency did not do anything except their computer system was used for the reimbursement process. The rates go up from there, depending on what is done. Booking a hotel room costs even more and it is just as easy to call the hotel and book it without the assistance of the travel system. It has also been found on numerous occasions where flights can be purchased significantly cheaper online than through the required contract travel agency. The process in place for travel grossly over-inflates the cost of travel for federal workers on official duty and consequently wastes tax payers’ money.
Idea No. 7178