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July 14, 2007

A Military Guy Rebuts Charges That Coleman Is Selling Out

Over in the sidebar was linked. via Instapundit, a Bill Hobbs piece suggesting that Norm Coleman's pushing to scrap the current DoD travel-arrangement system, DTS, in favor of going back to the system of using travel agents, was a political/pecuniary sop to in-state business Carson Wagonit Travel, which stands to gain a huge amount of money from such a change.

Chap, however, is in the military, and uses the current DTS system, and writes:


I'm traveling right now and can't write much, but the current DoD travel thing is an utter crock of steaming pain. It's called DTS (Defense Travel System), and in like five years it's cost a half BILLION dollars, forces everyone to deal with the worst web-based 1970s excuse for a system ever, and costs much more money per trip. Right now sunk cost is huge...just Google it--$33,000 *per trip*! It completely boggles the mind how bad this thing is. Check CdrSalamander's rant on DTS -- you'll have to search for it.

I dunno about Coleman but our current thing is evil incarnate and it's almost always impossible to kill a defense contract like this [i.e., the current defense contract to Northrup-Grumman for running the DTS system.]

DTS Must Die.

Here's one of those CdrSalamander rants. It includes a link to this article:

After eight years of development, the Defense Travel System will finally approach full deployment in 2006. But only a fraction of Defense Department travelers use the system, and its costs have risen. So the Senate is using its budget powers to force accountability and reward performance by switching from appropriated funding to a fee-for-service system. ...

The original contract anticipated full deployment by 2002.

...

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) [said] “most Pentagon employees would be better off to go to Travelocity or Orbitz.”

Per my previous disclaimer, I obviously have no idea about this issue either way, but it does seem that Hobbs' piece left out an important piece of information -- the current system is bad. Apparently really bad.

And even if it's supposed to get better sometime down the road and save the government money (and save military guys hassles) -- right now it's not doing so, and if 220 years of American government are any guide, it's unlikely to improve much in the near future.

Staus: Unclear. But leaning towards debunked.


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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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