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Published on : Friday, June 19, 2015
As part of a major overhaul of the Northern Territory Government’s travel management policy, all government travel will be booked through a central corporate system from July 1 this year and travel companies will be required to compare quotes to online offers.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the new policy would deliver greater value for money and greater accountability.
“The Northern Territory’s geographic location away from Australia’s major cities and on the doorstep of Asia means that travelling both interstate and overseas is an essential part of business for many government representatives,” he said.
“I understand and acknowledge there has been public concern about official government travel. I want to assure Territorians that my Government takes seriously the need to ensure we get best value for money on our travel spending, and that we have rigorous processes to prevent anyone misusing the system.
“That’s why I have asked my Department to take action to tighten our travel processes and to ensure the best possible value for money is being achieved.”
Mr Giles said a corporate travel management system trialled since 2014 and used for 90 per cent of travel bookings would now be adopted right across Government.
“We will be adopting a new whole of government policy requiring all travel quotes provided by travel management companies to be compared to online offers from airlines to ensure value for money,” he said.
“In addition, the Northern Territory Government will work with travel management companies to expand and improve on travel reporting to better advise of potential cost savings and to monitor travel usage.
“I can also announce today KPMG will conduct the independent review into public sector travel processes and provide recommendations to Government by August, with six monthly audits to be established to ensure compliance with the new travel procedures.”
Mr Giles said the Government was also looking at how to save money on charter flights and would be finalising tenders for three panel contracts for air charter services in coming weeks.
“The independent review and the establishment of these new travel processes and systems are all about achieving greater value for money, and ensuring greater accountability and transparency,” he said.
Mr Giles said a public tender would soon be issued for the corporate travel booking system and he encouraged Territory travel agents to consider forming a partnership to tender for that work.