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GSA AWARDS TRAVEL CHARGE CARD CONTRACT TO AMERICAN EXPRESS

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) said today it has awarded a contract estimated to generate $2.5 billion in annual charge volume to American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., to provide commercial charge card services to more than 900,000 federal employees who travel on official government business. The contract becomes effective Nov. 30 when GSA's current agreement with Diners Club expires.
 GSA Administrator Roger W. Johnson made the announcement in a press conference in his office with Roger H. Ballou, president of American Express Travel Services Group. Johnson said the contract provides the federal government with a "no cost credit card, plus refunds."
 Johnson said: "This contract expands the information technology initiatives promoted by the Clinton administration to move federal government transactions further into the world of electronic commerce. Increasing the use of new technologies in the government's business transactions will, in the long-term, save taxpayer dollars."
 The GSA's Federal Supply Service Commissioner Roger Daniero said the one-year contract with American Express -- with four, one-year renewal options -- was awarded following the evaluation of competitive proposals submitted to GSA.
 American Express has agreed to pay GSA $18 million up front to offset the agency's travel and transportation management overhead expenses. In addition, American Express will pay the government a refund that could yield up to $100 million during the life of the contract. The refunds, according to Daniero, would be returned to participating agencies to defray their travel costs.
 In addition to the no-cost, refund features, the contract offers a range of other financial benefits to the government, including no-fee travelers checks, reduced costs for ATM transactions and prompt payment incentives.
 Since the inception of the government's travel charge card program in October 1983, the system has reduced the need for cash advances, reduced the number of petty cash fund cashiers, simplified travel reimbursement by reducing paperwork and generated valuable management information reports.
 Use of the cards is limited to official travel expenses only. Individual employees will receive bills from American Express, then pay the company directly. Employees are reimbursed by their agencies after filing an official travel voucher.
 Flanked also by the GSA employees who negotiated the competitive procurement, Johnson said, "In the spirit of reinventing government, these career employees have used their skills and creativity to make available for federal business travelers credit card services comparable with those at Fortune 500 companies."
 -0- 10/1/93
 /CONTACT: Hap Connors of the U.S. General Services Administration, 202-501-1231/


CO: U.S. General Services Administration; American Express Travel
 Related Services Co., Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU: CON


KD-MH -- DC026 -- 7808 10/01/93 12:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Words:446
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