Friday, November 17, 2006

Your Tax Dollars at Work

It's time to kill the Defense Travel Service, once and for all. We've written about the DTS mess in the past, and despite the investment of almost $500 million, the system shows no sign of improvement. The fact that it's barely used by Pentagon staffers speaks volumes about its inefficiency. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman has been waging a vigorous fight to get rid of the system, an effort which deserves bipartisan support.

Hat tip: Chief Buddy.

3 comments:

baddog46 said...

We have to use DTS. Used to be able to make reservations with the agents, now we have to use DTS. No way to change a reservation after orders have been issued on DTS (at least not an apparent, user friendly way). I called Air Tran to change the dates. They told me the ticket was reserved, not paid for (after CTO had told me it was). I called CTO who told me the reason was because I hadn't made my reservations through DTS (oops, I had). Well, it was only an hour out of my day that would have taken less than five minutes the old way.

I would bet you that if you added the cost of the additional time that the individual does doing something he/she is not good at, it would be many times that of hiring travel coordinators and administrative staff to manage the orders process and make travel reservations.

But what do I know, I wasn't smart enough to stay out of Iraq....

Spook86 said...

Baddog...I've heard similar horror stories from other dissatisfied DTS users. As I recall, the justification for switching to this system was to save about $30 million a year in travel agent fees. Half-a-billion dollars later, we have a system that still doesn't work, and when you factor in lost worktime/productivity, the "cost" is even higher.

Perfection--or the pursuit of a perfect, fee-free system is the enemy of good enough. Heck, I remember the days before government credit cards, when you received an advance from base finance before you left, and used your gov't orders to rent a car. Decidedly low-tech, but guess what, it worked, and it didn't cost $500 million.

crosspatch said...

Sounds to me like it could all be replaced with an account with these people.