Federal employees are trusted with incredibly important decisions every day. Yet, due to budgetary restrictions, we must go through partner travel agencies to purchase airline tickets. Tickets purchased through these agencies are refundable (which increases the price) and marked up by the seller (which also increases the price).
By allowing Federal Employees to find and purchase our own tickets for work-related travel, thousands of taxpayer dollars could be saved. We know how to use online resources to save money on personal travel. Let us use that same knowledge to save money for the Federal Government.
This proposal would require additional financial staff, as it would lead to an increase in voucher-based airfare reimbursement requests (instead of direct purchases). However, the savings would come not only in the form of reduced airfare costs, but also the elimination of resources needed to support the offices of private travel agencies. In-house travel agencies need staff, office space, computers, electricity, telephones, and more. These expense would disappear completely.
This is a simple idea that would save an incredible amount of money. Let Federal Employees help by seeking out our own tickets.