DOD Travel Cards:

Control Weaknesses Led to Millions of Dollars Wasted on Unused Airline Tickets

GAO-04-398: Published: Mar 31, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2004.

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Ineffective oversight and management of the Department of Defense's (DOD) travel card program, which GAO previously reported on, have led to concerns about airline tickets DOD purchased but did not use and for which it did not claim refunds. GAO was asked to (1) determine whether, and to what extent, airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts were unused and not refunded and (2) determine whether DOD's internal controls provided reasonable assurance that all unused tickets were identified and submitted for refunds.

Control breakdowns over the centrally billed accounts resulted in DOD paying for airline tickets that were not used and not processed for refund. DOD was not aware of this problem before our audit and did not maintain data on unused tickets. We determined, based on airline data, that DOD had purchased--primarily in fiscal years 2001 and 2002--about 58,000 tickets with a residual (unused) value of more than $21 million that remained unused and not refunded as of October 2003. We also identified more than 81,000 partially unused airline tickets with a purchase price of about $62 million that will require additional analysis to determine the residual value. Based on further analysis of the limited data, it is possible that DOD purchased at least $100 million in airline tickets that it did not use and for which it did not claim refunds from fiscal years 1997 through 2003. Although GAO asked DOD's five most frequently used airlines for fiscal year 2001 and 2002 unused ticket data, the airlines did not provide uniform, complete, or consistent responses. For example, one airline did not provide partially unused ticket data, another airline's fiscal year 2001 data covered only September 2001, while yet another airline provided data on electronic tickets dating back to November 1998. Although additional data on unused tickets may be available from the airlines' archives, our attempts to obtain additional information were unsuccessful. DOD's unused ticket problems were caused by a flawed process that relied extensively on DOD personnel to report unused tickets to the travel offices. Although it appears that many unused tickets were processed for a refund, the internal controls DOD had in place did not detect millions of dollars of unused airline tickets. Specifically, DOD did not systematically implement compensating procedures to identify instances in which DOD personnel did not report unused tickets, or reconcile the centrally billed accounts to travel claims to determine whether airline tickets were used. Although some units had instituted a process by fiscal year 2002 to more systematically identify instances of unused tickets, the process was not implemented DOD-wide, DOD did not verify that units were consistently implementing the process, and the process could only identify unused electronic--not paper--tickets.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs identify all unused tickets based on specified criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs identify all unused tickets based on specified criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to maintain a daily log of unused tickets so that the GTO can ascertain that all unused tickets were turned in for refund.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs maintain daily schedules that identify unused tickets and how long they have been unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to maintain a daily log of unused tickets so that the GTO can ascertain that all unused tickets were turned in for refund.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs maintain daily schedules that identify unused tickets and how long they have been unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to maintain a daily log of unused tickets so that the GTO can ascertain that all unused tickets were turned in for refund.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs maintain daily schedules that identify unused tickets and how long they have been unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to maintain a daily log of unused tickets so that the GTO can ascertain that all unused tickets were turned in for refund.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs maintain daily schedules that identify unused tickets and how long they have been unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely provide the GTOs with unused ticket reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely provide the GTOs with unused ticket reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely provide the GTOs with unused ticket reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely provide the GTOs with unused ticket reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs identify all unused tickets based on specified criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs identify all unused tickets based on specified criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In August 2006 the DOD determined that it was feasible to establish the individually billed account travel card as the primary procurement mechanism to pay for transportation expenses. Consequently, on May 3, 2007, the DOD Defense Travel Steering Committee (DTSC) issued a memorandum which approved the use of the IBA as the primary payment mechanism for all travel costs.

    Recommendation: To decrease the risks associated with the use of the centrally billed accounts, the Secretary of Defense should evaluate the feasibility of establishing the individually billed account travel card as the primary payment mechanism for transportation expenses.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On May 3, 2007, the DOD Defense Travel Steering Committee issued a memorandum to restrict CBA transportation accounts to travelers who are not eligible for IBAs.

    Recommendation: To decrease the risks associated with the use of the centrally billed accounts, the Secretary of Defense should evaluate the feasibility of limiting the use of the centrally billed account travel card to procuring transportation expenses for those employees without access to individually billed accounts, such as new employees who have not yet obtained individually billed account travel cards and employees who do not qualify for the use of individually billed account travel cards, and for other situations in which the use of an individually billed travel card is not practical.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concluded that, based on feasibility studies, modifying existing legacy systems could prove costly. Instead, these studies recommended implementing several manual initiatives to help mitigate the problem of unused tickets until the Defense Travel System (DTS) was deployed. These initiatives, which included issuing memorandums to direct cancellation of unused tickets 30 days after the last scheduled air segment, return of unused tickets to their DOD Component, and the modification of commercial travel office contracts to require unused ticket reporting, were placed in effect until the deployment of DTS during late FY 2006.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to evaluate the feasibility of implementing procedures to reconcile airline tickets acquired using the centrally billed accounts to travel vouchers in the current travel system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  16. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concluded that, based on feasibility studies, modifying existing legacy systems could prove costly. Instead, these studies recommended implementing several manual initiatives to help mitigate the problem of unused tickets until the Defense Travel System (DTS) was deployed. These initiatives, which included issuing memorandums to direct cancellation of unused tickets 30 days after the last scheduled air segment, return of unused tickets to their DOD Component, and the modification of commercial travel office contracts to require unused ticket reporting, were placed in effect until the deployment of DTS during late FY 2006.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to evaluate the feasibility of implementing procedures to reconcile airline tickets acquired using the centrally billed accounts to travel vouchers in the current travel system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  17. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concluded that, based on feasibility studies, modifying existing legacy systems could prove costly. Instead, these studies recommended implementing several manual initiatives to help mitigate the problem of unused tickets until the Defense Travel System (DTS) was deployed. These initiatives, which included issuing memorandums to direct cancellation of unused tickets 30 days after the last scheduled air segment, return of unused tickets to their DOD Component, and the modification of commercial travel office contracts to require unused ticket reporting, were placed in effect until the deployment of DTS.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to evaluate the feasibility of implementing procedures to reconcile airline tickets acquired using the centrally billed accounts to travel vouchers in the current travel system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  18. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concluded that, based on feasibility studies, modifying existing legacy systems could prove costly. Instead, these studies recommended implementing several manual initiatives to help mitigate the problem of unused tickets until the Defense Travel System (DTS) was deployed. These initiatives, which included issuing memorandums to direct cancellation of unused tickets 30 days after the last scheduled air segment, return of unused tickets to their DOD Component, and the modification of commercial travel office contracts to require unused ticket reporting, were placed in effect until the deployment of DTS during late FY 2006.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to evaluate the feasibility of implementing procedures to reconcile airline tickets acquired using the centrally billed accounts to travel vouchers in the current travel system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  19. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to systematically identify unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs establish a capability to systematically identify unused e-tickets in their computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  20. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to systematically identify unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs establish a capability to systematically identify unused e-tickets in their computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  21. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to systematically identify unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs establish a capability to systematically identify unused e-tickets in their computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

  22. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to systematically identify unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs establish a capability to systematically identify unused e-tickets in their computer reservation systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  24. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  25. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require either the GTOs or the units responsible for monitoring the CTOs' activities to determine whether the CTOs are consistently implementing the procedures to identify unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  26. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require either the GTOs or the units responsible for monitoring the CTOs' activities to determine whether the CTOs are consistently implementing the procedures to identify unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  27. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD responded directly to our recommendation by including a link on the DTS to remind travelers of their unused tickets responsibility, which includes reporting and returning all unused tickets to the CTO as soon as possible for processing of the applicable credit, and that the unused ticket has value which belongs to the government.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to more effectively monitor unused tickets under the DTS, the Secretary of Defense should direct the appropriate personnel to use the DTS to remind travelers to claim refunds on all unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  28. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to more effectively monitor unused tickets under the DTS, the Secretary of Defense should direct the appropriate personnel to include in future contracts issued for the DTS, a requirement that the CTOs establish the capability to systematically identify unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  29. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As of March 2007, DOD had implemented DTS at 280 major DOD sites and 8,760 total sites worldwide, including a module for reconciling travel vouchers to tickets issued on the CBA. Implementation of this module will improve DOD's assurance that airline tickets purchased through the CBAs were either used or refunded.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to more effectively monitor unused tickets under the DTS, the Secretary of Defense should direct the appropriate personnel to establish, in the DTS, a capability to routinely match travel vouchers to tickets issued through the centrally billed accounts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  30. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD initiated action to pursue recovery of all unused and partially unused tickets. As of March 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of DOD, had collected about $30 million in refunds from three of the five airlines identified in our report, and was reviewing or had accepted offers for additional refunds from four of the airlines.

    Recommendation: To recover outstanding claims on unused tickets, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should immediately submit claims to the airlines to recover the $21 million in fully and partially unused tickets identified by the airlines and included in this report.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  31. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD initiated action to pursue recovery of all unused and partially unused tickets. As of March 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of DOD, had collected about $30 million in refunds from three of the five airlines identified in our report, and was reviewing or had accepted offers for additional refunds from four of the airlines.

    Recommendation: To recover outstanding claims on unused tickets, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should calculate, with the assistance of the airlines, the residual value of the partially unused tickets identified by the airlines and included in this report.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  32. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD initiated action to pursue recovery of all unused and partially unused tickets. As of March 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of DOD, had collected about $30 million in refunds from three of the five airlines identified in our report, and was reviewing or had accepted offers for additional refunds from four of the airlines.

    Recommendation: To recover outstanding claims on unused tickets, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should work with the five airlines identified in this report and other airlines from which DOD purchased tickets with centrally billed accounts to identify the feasibility of determining the recoverability of other fully and partially unused tickets purchased with DOD centrally billed accounts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  33. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD initiated action to pursue recovery of all unused and partially unused tickets. As of March 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of DOD, had collected about $30 million in refunds from three of the five airlines identified in our report, and was reviewing or had accepted offers for additional refunds from four of the airlines.

    Recommendation: To recover outstanding claims on unused tickets, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should work with the five airlines identified in this report and other airlines from which DOD purchased tickets with centrally billed accounts to determine the value of the unused portions of those tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  34. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD initiated action to pursue recovery of all unused and partially unused tickets. As of March 2007, the General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of DOD, had collected about $30 million in refunds from three of the five airlines identified in our report, and was reviewing or had accepted offers for additional refunds from four of the airlines.

    Recommendation: To recover outstanding claims on unused tickets, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should work with the five airlines identified in this report and other airlines from which DOD purchased tickets with centrally billed accounts to initiate actions to obtain refunds.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  35. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require either the GTOs or the units responsible for monitoring the CTOs' activities to determine whether the CTOs are consistently implementing the procedures to identify unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  36. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require either the GTOs or the units responsible for monitoring the CTOs' activities to determine whether the CTOs are consistently implementing the procedures to identify unused tickets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  37. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  38. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components reviewed all existing Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contracts, identified required changes and modified the contracts to require CTOs to identify all unused tickets based on specific criteria before the unused ticket data are removed from the computer reservation systems, routinely provide the Government Travel Offices with unused ticket reports, and routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs routinely process refunds for tickets identified as unused.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  39. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to submit to the GTO all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs submit to the GTOs all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  40. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to submit the GTO all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs submit to the GTOs all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  41. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to submit the GTO all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs submit to the GTOs all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  42. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to take immediate steps to review and then modify as necessary existing CTO contracts to ensure that performance standards for identifying and then processing refunds for unused electronic tickets and unused paper tickets are addressed in their CTO contracts. The modified contracts must meet established standards, one of which is for the CTO to submit the GTO all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to modify existing CTO contracts to include a requirement that the CTOs submit to the GTOs all requests for refunds that have been processed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  43. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to incorporate in the GTO validation process procedures to reconcile unused paper and e-ticket refund requests processed by the CTO with Bank of America.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require the GTOs to routinely compare unused tickets processed by the CTOs to the credits on the Bank of America invoice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  44. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to incorporate in the GTO validation process procedures to reconcile unused paper and e-ticket refund requests processed by the CTO with Bank of America.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require the GTOs to routinely compare unused tickets processed by the CTOs to the credits on the Bank of America invoice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  45. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to incorporate in the GTO validation process procedures to reconcile unused paper and e-ticket refund requests processed by the CTO with Bank of America.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require the GTOs to routinely compare unused tickets processed by the CTOs to the credits on the Bank of America invoice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  46. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 4, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a directive to DOD components to incorporate in the GTO validation process procedures to reconcile unused paper and e-ticket refund requests processed by the CTO with Bank of America.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to systematically identify future unused airline tickets purchased through the centrally billed accounts, and improve internal controls over the processing of unused airline tickets for refunds, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy and the heads of DOD agencies should direct the appropriate personnel within services and agencies to require the GTOs to routinely compare unused tickets processed by the CTOs to the credits on the Bank of America invoice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  47. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Components have reviewed, changed, or published additional guidance for their Transportation Officers to ensure that the CTOs consistently meet the performance requirements of the modified CTO contracts. In addition, the Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR) was modified to include additional guidance for the processing of unused tickets. As a result, DOD has greater assurance that controls are in place to mitigate losses related to unused tickets.

    Recommendation: To enable DOD to more effectively monitor unused tickets under the DTS, the Secretary of Defense should direct the appropriate personnel to include in future contracts issued for the DTS, a requirement that the CTOs establish the capability to process these tickets for refunds.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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