Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 5154.31, "Travel Programs" formally established DTMO in 2011 as the Department’s focal point to manage commercial travel programs and policy. The most recently reissued version supersedes travel policies contained in various memos, the DoD Financial Management Regulation, Defense Transportation Regulation, and other governing regulations. It contains six volumes with each volume formally outlining the procedures and regulations related to the management of a specific commercial travel program. The reissuance of DoDI 5154.31 reduces the quantity, diversity, and dispersion of commercial travel guidance by creating one location for policy information.
The Defense Travel Management Office regularly develops, publishes, and implements a five-year Business Operations Plan [PDF, 27 pages] that provides a framework for executing the strategies, programs, and projects related to managing the Defense Travel Enterprise. Six guiding principles provide a doctrinal framework that supports the Office's mission, vision and goals. This plan is reviewed annually.
In February 2006, the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) was established as the single focal point for commercial travel within DoD. Previously, several disparate, stove-piped programs governed travel policy, regulations and directives, with no "single face" for commercial travel within the Department. Leadership recognized the need to streamline and consolidate the various pieces of this multi-billion dollar travel enterprise. In response, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to consolidate, reorganize, and centrally manage commercial travel policy.
Through this consolidation, the Department is able to standardize management practices, leverage economies of scale, reduce administrative costs, and work towards a common set of goals. DTMO accomplishes this through central oversight for: travel programs, travel policy and implementation, travel card program management, customer support and training, and functional oversight of the Defense Travel System (DTS).