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The Commonwealth spent approximately $184 million dollars in travel costs last year associated with the use of personal and state vehicles, meals, lodging and other incidentals. This represents a significant amount of resources to provide travel for state employees and others in conjunction with official state business.
An operational review team has been established to examine travel practices across the Commonwealth and to gain a better understanding of the costs associated with travel. The committee’s goal is to recommend best practice strategies to create a more efficient and effective travel process and to and identify opportunities to reduce costs if possible.
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Senator Brandon Bell, II are overseeing the committee. The committee is comprised of senior management officials across the Commonwealth from the Department of Corrections, the Department of General Services, the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, The Department of Correctional Education, the Senate and Virginia Tech.
The team started with identifying the Commonwealth’s existing state travel practices. Once we gained a strong understanding of our current practices we started identifying agency and industry best practices for travel. We have reached out to corporations such as American Greetings, McKesson, Capitol One, Land America and Phillip Morris, USA to gain an understanding other companies travel practices.
The team has already begun to identify best practices that have been previously implemented including the use of the Enterprise Rental Contract for vehicles, which is managed by the Department of General Services. This contract is managed by the Department of General Services.
The team is also exploring additional recommendations including:
Increase use of computer based training for state employees (one suggested topic: state travel regulations)
Increase use of statewide travel contracts (leverage Commonwealth’s bargaining power)
Improvement of the chart of accounts to distinguish between in state and out of state travel and further identify travel costs
Re-visit travel review within two years of implementation of new accounting system.