Federal employees may lose their ability to book discounted leisure travel through a popular government web portal when the website sunsets later this year.

The FedRooms lodging program is the only government-wide hotel program available to all federal and military travelers on official business. It sets competitive rates for stays at more than 10,000 properties around the world, and the ability to book leisure travel is an added benefit. More than 400,000 rooms were booked using the site last year, according to the General Services Administration.

This month, the program announced on Facebook that it was discontinuing the FedRooms website after Sept. 30, prompting concerns from feds that this meant an end to the program altogether. A GSA spokesperson clarified that’s not the case.

“The FedRooms program overall is not going away, but in order to be compliant with policy and to minimize future unnecessary costs, GSA will no longer support FedRooms.com as a contractor-provided website as of Sept. 30, 2024 (the date the contract is set to expire),” the official said in a statement.

Any existing reservations made for beyond Sept. 30 will still be honored, the spokesperson said. No new bookings after that will be permitted. GSA said that a new temporary-duty lodging contract is targeted for award this spring.

In the meantime, booking for official travel will remain available via other tools, such as E2 Solutions, ConcurGov, the Defense Travel System and by calling an agency’s travel management company, the spokesperson said.

For employees who still want to find a competitive rate for leisure travel, they can reach out to hotels directly to inquire about a “government” rate. Any deals, however, are subject to hotels’ discretion.

FedRooms is a popular program among feds. From 2019 to 2023, nightly stays increased almost 70%. Employees appreciate the program for its flexible cancellation policies, zero deposits, free parking and waived fees. It also ensures prices are at or below approved per-diem rates.

The change is motivated by compliance requirements in pre-existing policy that govern the use of official websites. The Office of Management and Budget within the White House directs agencies to use only “.gov” websites as a way to convey trustworthy, verified information to the public. In addition, the Federal Travel Regulation requires temporary duty travel to be made only with approved booking tools; Fedrooms.com is not one of them.

The existing contractor, CW Government Travel, was re-awarded the $47 million contract for FedRooms in 2019. That expires on Sept. 30, coinciding with the discontinuation of the website, which is managed by the vendor, not GSA. A request-for-proposal for fa five-year contract was submitted in January.

A spokesperson for the company directed Federal Times’ inquiries to GSA.

Correction: This article previously misstated how many stays were booked with FedRooms. In 2023, there were 400,000 room nights booked via fedrooms.com. That’s out of 3.8 million total FedRoom reservations approved through other booking tools, like ETS2, DTS, and agency TMCs.

Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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