The Pentagon's end-to-end online travel booking system is expected to be used departmentwide by the end of September, bringing to a close the development phase of the $474 million system.

The Defense Travel System contract, awarded in May 1998, has survived several controversies including a congressional attempt to end the program last October. But with less than a year remaining on a final contract with Northrop Grumman Corp., the system is starting to churn out results.

Each day the system processes an average of 6,000 travel reservations, and that number is increasing by about 10 percent each month, said Rich Fabbre, the DTS program manager.

During the first three months of 2006, DTS set a record for usage by processing more than 700,000 travel documents, more than double the number over the same three months last year, according to Northrop. On March 27, the system logged a record 41,000 users.

DTS has been deployed at 235 of 279 major Defense Department sites; by September, the remaining 44 sites are expected to have it, Fabbre said. Of the 11,000 minor department sites, which include, for example, a two-man recruiting station in Chicago, 7,289 have the system, he said.

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