GSA Offers Prize Money to Help Cut Travel Costs

The General Services Administration (GSA) has launched a competition in which it is asking the public for suggestions on how to build a technology tool that can help government agencies save money on travel expenses.

According to Anne Rung, associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy, the GSA has already made substantial gains in finding ways to save money on travel expenses and now it wants the public’s help to spread those cost-cutting strategies throughout the federal government.

“We’re ready to take it to the next level,” Rung says, “and we want you to develop a smart tool.”

The agency has created a competition, calling it the GSA Travel Data Challenge, in which it will ask the public for ideas on how to build an app that would be a “forward-thinking tool” that helps federal agencies drive cost savings but doesn’t necessarily simply analyze data the government already has.

The winner of the challenge—the person who comes up with the best technology tool to help the government save money on travel expenses—will win $35,000. There will also be a potential second prize of $30,000 and third prize of $25,000.

The kinds of questions the GSA is hoping this as-of-yet uninvented tool will answer are:

• Are travelers booking airline reservations early enough to secure low fares?

• What data elements in current technology are missing that could be helpful to travel managers or CFOs?

• How much money could be saved by adjusting certain elements of the travel and conference experience like time of year, certain cities, booking in advance, etc.?

To learn more about the competition, you can go to gsatraveldata.challenge.com. The GSA will supply applicants with certain data to use in preparing their tools but also suggests seeking data from other sources as well.

The deadline is April 11.

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Posted by Michael Hart

Michael Hart is the executive editor of Expo. Reach him at mhart@accessintel.com.... View all articles by Michael Hart →