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Auditor general of the air force.

Defense Travel System

Implementation

The Defense Travel System (DTS), the automated online system for scheduling travel and processing vouchers, is now operational at selected sites within the Air Force Audit Agency (AFAA). Our participation began in October 2002 when SAF/FM asked AFAA to participate as a DTS pilot site. The intent of this request was to determine whether a relatively small agency that is centrally managed, yet geographically diverse, could successfully implement DTS with minimal support from the DTS Program Management Office. With this in mind, we began planning our implementation methodology. By 7 February 2003, we were operational within the National Capital Region and have added nine locations. Presently, over 200 AFAA personnel have access to DTS representing about 25 percent of our work force. What has this meant for AFAA? Let me highlight some of the improvements.

DTS Benefits

Fast, electronic reimbursement of travel expenses. This DTS priority item will ensure all business travelers are reimbursed quickly and electronically. During the three months since AFAA implemented DTS, we processed 137 sets of orders and paid 77 vouchers. To date, we have experienced an average payment time of 2.4 workdays from the date the settlement voucher was approved.

Worksite approvals and certifications. DTS places approval of travel arrangements and certification of travel vouchers at the traveler's worksite instead of at a servicing paying location. This placement allows travel decisions to be made where the mission takes place.

Significant reduction in the time spent administering travel. Reports to Congress based on field-testing of DTS indicate that on average the time spent administering travel is cut to one-third of what it was before DTS. Because of AFAA's decentralized concept, DTS will significantly improve AFAAs travel fund accounting.

Reduced paperwork. As DoDs single end-to-end electronic solution for Defense business travel, DTS provides electronic connectivity between the traveler, the authorizing official, the service/agency accounting and disbursing systems, the local comptroller's budget, the commercial travel service provider, the commercial bank card service and the electronic archive of travel-related documents.

Automated payment of government charge cards. DTS will allow automatic split disbursements. This feature will relieve travelers of the after-the-fact bill paying responsibility, and will help the AFAA to continue having one of the lowest delinquency rates in the Air Force.

What's Next

Over the next few months, we plan to complete access for the entire AFAA on DTS. What this means is adding 50 locations and about 600 personnel. The newest version, also known as the Enhanced JEFFERSON Release will be released in June 2003. This web-based application is much simpler to use than the current product and has more power and flexibility. We are working with the various major commands and installations to coordinate and implement JEFFERSON DTS at all locations where AFAA is a tenant. We anticipate full implementation by September 2003.

Summary

I have encouraged and fully support AFAAs early implementation of DTS and welcome the opportunity to help the Air Force evaluate the system and provide another quality of life initiative for Air Force personnel. Our personnel have provided valuable feedback to the SAF/FM staff, the Program Management Office, and the contractor. From this perspective, our early participation has been a tremendous success.
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Author:Speer, James R.
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:537
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