Corporate travel and expense (T&E) management solutions provider SAP Concur has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to help the government body upgrade its expense management systems and processes. An announcement from the DoD last week said that SAP Concur won the $9.3 million contract to develop a prototype to replace what the DoD said is an "aging and inefficient Defense Travel System."
The DoD said the work with SAP Concur could lower the cost of airplane tickets and reduce manual labor time to book travel and process expenses. More than 2 million active duty, reserve and civilian personnel travel on behalf of the Department of Defense, it said, adding that it spends $9 billion every year on travel.
The DoD recently launched Joint Travel Regulations to streamline and ease compliance when traveling; travelers must use travel suppliers that have pre-negotiated fares and rates with the DoD. With SAP Concur, the DoD said it aims to launch a prototype capability to implement new processes, reduce reliance on manual tasks and reduce costs.
"We have a responsibility to ensure our resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner, and given this specific project has such a wide-ranging and deep impact, reforms with results like these are crucial," said John H. Gibson, chief management officer at the DoD. "I'm proud of the work we're executing through the Reform Management Group and initiatives like this from the Information Technology Reform Team."
Earlier this year, senators introduced a bill aimed at accelerating payments from the DoD to its smaller suppliers and contractors, calling for the DoD to pay suppliers in 15 days. The legislation was introduced as an amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reports said at the time. A provision in the NDAA sparked debate last year about whether the DoD could or should be able to procure goods from Amazon, as the legislation reformed how the DoD "buys commercial off-the-shelf goods."