The Defense Department’s online travel booking system is on track to reach 11,000 sites with a capability to scale to 3.2 million users by the time it becomes fully operational in September.

Air Force Col. Brandy Johnson, DTS program manager, said the system has 925,000 users and currently processes 6,000 travel vouchers each day. And last month it rolled out its latest release, called President Monroe, where it added an automated debt management report capability and new procedures for processing debts.

“It seems like we’ve turned the corner of getting people happy about the product,” Johnson said of the $474 million program. “Some people now scream when they move to a base that doesn’t have it.”

This is a far cry from last fall when several congressional leaders threatened to cancel the controversial program once its contract with Northrop Grumman expires in September 2006. Lawmakers said the program was over budget and behind schedule, and that the department should consider dumping DTS to participate in the General Services Administration’s E-Travel program.

Still, not everyone believes DTS is heading in the right direction. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he remained unconvinced of the value of DTS, which is similar in scope to commercial online booking systems Expedia and Travelocity.

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