Major decision taken by Treasury regarding new online booking tool for all government bookings

On Thursday 17 February 2022, FEDHASA was invited to attend a meeting with National Treasury – to be updated on rates and policies affecting accommodation and conferences and to provide feedback from the industry.

The meeting allowed for Treasury to brief FEDHASA on very important developments.

It also provided the opportunity for FEDHASA to convey the problems we have as an industry with regards to Government business.  All the submissions given to FEDHASA were raised.   Treasury asked for this to be followed up in writing too and they will then respond.

Below is a summary of what was discussed but, you are welcome to contact FEDHASA if you require more detail:

  • Treasury hopes to have a revised National Travel Policy Framework and Rates out by latest end March 2022.
  • No details at all were given at today’s meeting with regards to changes to the rates. The information will be communicated when the revised NTPF and Cost Containment are published.
  • The NTPF will be in operation from the  1 April 2022 but effective from 1st October 22. The period from the 1st April to 30th September will be for Government Institutions to adapt, align and revise their Internal Travel Policies.  
  • 1st Oct 2022 – Revised NTPF officially kicks in.
  • FEDHASA asked does that mean that the new rates might only have to be paid by 1st Oct.  Treasury answered that this will be detailed during the publication.

NEW ONLINE BOOKING (OBT) – significant development!

  • New Online Booking Tool.  National Treasury started investigating this in 2014/5. It is now going to become a reality.
  • There are three purpose for it is:- 1. Cost saving – reduce the cost of paying middle parties.  2.Keep info and data of Government in one central hub  and 3. Reduce the shenanigans in the industry (Demanding of Commission).  Eliminate “shenanigans”. There will be no commission paid or received. The system will allow for direct dealings that will reduce the cost of accommodation.  The word “shenanigans” is the word that Mr Naake used.
  • 2023/2024 Financial Year is the planned date of the implementation of the system.
  • Due to contracts that Gov has with travel agents and TMC, only on 30 March 2027 will it be the final full implementation of the project where all government institutions will be on board using the system .

TRAVEL LODGE CARDS – good news!

  • Treasury explained that the Travel Lodge Card is one of the 3 Credit Cards approved by the Minister of Finance to be used  in Government.
  • 93 – 95% of National Gov depts have Travel Lodge Cards.
  • If a booking is made with your accommodation establishment using a Travel Lodge Card – you will be paid within less than 30 days.  The same goes for a TMC – they will be paid in less than 30 days.
  • Accommodation providers are encouraged to ask your own booking departments and all Travel agents, PCO’s etc, to ask the Dept they are dealing with to pay for the services via a Travel Lodge Card – this way, you will know that payment will be received in less than 30 days.
  • FEDHASA was requested by Treasury to please encourage the use of a Travel Lodge Card including if you are dealing directly with the Gov Dept.  Click here for a circular by Treasury which you can show to any Government Dept, when you request the use of the Travel Lodge Card.

USE OF GRADED ESTABLISHMENTS

  • Government will be insisting on the use of only graded establishments.
  • Treasury raised the questions how can an ungraded establishment like guest houses, charge graded prices.  We need to revert back with an answer.

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