As with most things involving the government and larger institutions, government contractors are held to specific requirements and practices. Their compliance with activities like business travel is no different. Unfortunately, finding the right travel management company that can support their needs is not always an easy task. Though there are many travel management companies, only a few specialize in travel management for government contractors. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of specific items government contractors should consider before partnering with a TMC.
10 points government contractors need to know before partnering with a tmc:
- Understands the importance of compliance. Government contractors are somewhat unique in the business travel industry. Unlike most companies which has compliance as a goal, it must be followed to a tee for government contractors. That’s why partnering with a TMC that fully understands the ins-and-outs of specifics related to your travel policy is essential.
- Specialized experience. Look for a TMC that has the experience of working with government contractors and the years to back it up.
- Customized online booking tool for compliance and control. Ensure your team can customize your travel policy when necessary.
- Customized electronic travel approval. Easy to use automations are key for your travel managers, travelers, and even whole departments to efficiently get things done. Feeling confident that you can trust the backend of your travel approval process eliminates many travel management related headaches.
- JTR, or Joint Travel Requirements. If you are members of the Uniformed Services of the United States and DoD civilian employees and civilians who travel using DoD funding, you will need to set up a JTR. This is a key element that your TMC should bring your company. The JTR contains regulations related to per diem, travel and transportation allowances, and relocation allowances, among others. Having a TMC on your side to navigate what’s best for your company is essential.
- Access to per diem for your employees. Ensuring your travelers have the use of per diem while they travel is often a second thought for government contractors. Be sure this is one of the first questions to ask TMCs before requesting RFPs or moving forward in a discussion.
- Fly America Act. This act is a federal regulation that requires the use of U.S. flag air carriers for travel paid for or reimbursed by federal grants and contracts. Finding a TMC that can navigate your team through additional acts and compliances, like the Fly America Act or Open Skies Agreement is essential in getting your travel program up and running efficiently.
- Travel access to traditionally remote areas. Sometimes government contracts means needing to access typically remote or inhospitable regions. Having a TMC with connections that get your travelers to the front lines is crucial. For example, our connections with Workforce Charter companies enables our CBT contractor expert travel advisors to provide travel wherever your contracts take your travelers. We’ve found other TMCs often don’t have these connections.
- Custom reporting for reconciliation and auditing. Customized reporting for what you need to see, not what works best for the general public.
- 24/7 service and support. Having a TMC that is always available day or night, is not something that should be taken lightly.
Government contractors need a travel management company that will not only knows the fine details of the industry, but will go above and beyond to support your travelers whenever possible. You should feel confident in choosing the right TMC for your contract or funding. If you are interested in understanding more about how TMCs assist government contractors, or seeing how Christopherson has supported our government contractors for more that 20 years, please contact one of our business travel experts.