FORT LEE, Va. (June 25, 2015) -- The Department of Defense launched a pilot of a new Integrated Lodging Program June 15 that includes preferred commercial lodging providers and integrates the ability to book government lodging properties through the Defense Travel System.

Section 914 of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act allowed the Secretary of Defense to institute a government lodging program. It requires DOD civilian employees and service members to stay in government or preferred commercial lodging while on official travel. As a first step, the pilot will test the viability of an enterprise-wide commercial lodging program and direct travelers to use government or preferred commercial lodging at select pilot locations.

The DOD Integrated Lodging Program Pilot affords an opportunity to not only leverage the department’s collective purchasing power, but also incorporate program enhancements that ensure a certain level of “duty of care” for its travelers. The Integrated Lodging Program Pilot will:

• Enable travelers to use DTS to find trusted lodging providers (government and preferred commercial).

• Ensure travelers are staying in quality lodging facilities that are close to temporary duty locations; are protected from certain fees; and provide amenities at no additional cost with room rates below the established government per diem rates.

• Enhance traveler care and satisfaction; provide greater traveler security; reduce lodging spend per night; and improve program management and data collection.

Those travelers going TDY to a pilot location are now required to use government quarters if available, per the Joint Travel Regulations. DOD travelers must first book at DOD lodging facilities if available, and then preferred commercial lodging. If TDY to a pilot site city or metro area, travelers are required to use preferred commercial lodging before booking other lodging options. If DOD lodging facilities or preferred commercial lodging at a pilot location is available and a traveler chooses to stay in other commercial lodging, reimbursement is limited to the amount the government would have paid if the traveler stayed in a DOD lodging facility or a participating preferred commercial lodging property.

This policy applies to travelers TDY to the following pilot locations:

• Charleston, S.C. – Joint Base Charleston

• Dayton, Ohio – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

• Norfolk – select area U.S. installations

• Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs

• Seattle-Tacoma Airport area, Wash.

• Tampa, Fla. – MacDill AFB

• Twenty-nine Palms, Calif. – Marine Air/Ground Combat Center

Not all of these locations currently have DOD lodging facilities available in DTS. DOD Civilians are not required to use DOD lodging facilities when TDY to U.S. military installations until DOD lodging facilities at that location is available in DTS. Service members, if directed by an authorizing official, must check DOD lodging facilities availability. To determine if DOD lodging facilities are available at a pilot site, visit www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/ILP_Pilot_Start_Dates.pdf.

DOD travelers (and travel administrators) with access to DTS are required to make lodging arrangements through the reservation module in DTS and should only contact their commercial travel office to arrange commercial lodging when DTS is not available. Travelers should not contact their Commercial Travel Office for assistance with booking DOD lodging facilities. If DTS is not available, travelers should book through www.dodlodging.net or by contact the government lodging facility or reservation center directly.

To facilitate policy compliance, DTS will be modified to display lodging options in a tabular format that guides travelers to directed lodging before displaying other lodging options. The system will automatically include a certificate of non-availability number in the authorization if lodging is not available. DTS will limit reimbursement when travelers decline available lodging facilities or preferred commercial lodging when TDY to a pilot site.

For those traveling to non-pilot military installations, DTS will display DOD lodging facilities when available. Service members (when TDY to a military installation) are required, when directed, to first use government quarters. At this time, this policy does not apply to civilians TDY to a non-pilot site; however, civilians are encouraged to use government quarters when available.

To learn more about the new DTS functionality that supports the Integrated Lodging Program Pilot, attend the L200 – DOD Integrated Lodging Program Pilot distance learning class available through the Training section at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Passport or review the Integrated Lodging Program Pilot Guide.