Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Employee and Public Services Department



May 16, 2002


June 4, 2002



Honorable Board of Supervisors



Mary Welch, Director, Employee and Public
Steve Rossi, Purchasing/Copy/Mail Services Manager



Agreement for Travel Services


Adopt a resolution authorizing the Purchasing Agent to execute an agreement with Ethan Allen Travel for travel agent services for two years from June 7, 2002 through June 6, 2004, and for two additional one (1) year terms at the County's sole option, which if exercised by the County will extend the term of the contract through June 6, 2006.


Ordinance Code Section 2.92.140 (b) provides that the Board of Supervisors shall select a travel agent on the basis of and after issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP). Ethan Allen Travel was originally awarded a 3 year contract in June, 1994 based on its favorable response to a RFP. On June 3rd, 1997, the Board extended the contract two additional years based on continued outstanding service. In 1999, a new RFP was issued, and Ethan Allen Travel was again selected by the Board. The current contract expires on June 6, 2002. A new RFP was issued, and Employee and Public Services and the County Manager's Office determined that Ethan Allen Travel's proposal best served the County's travel requirements.


The travel industry, and more specifically the airline commission structure, has changed dramatically in the last year. Travel agents are less likely to receive a commission directly from the airline, requiring the agents to increase the per ticket processing fee charged to the customer. This trend is expected to continue. As a result, many travel agencies are reluctant to service government accounts, especially agreeing to a pre-determined flat fee schedule that extends for up to 4 years.

On April 18, 2002, the Purchasing Division issued a RFP for travel agency services. The RFP was advertised and 18 potential contractors were notified. Two travel agencies responded to the RFP. Both responses offered a fee structure that was within our expected price range. Of the two agencies that responded, Ethan Allen Travel's fee schedule was sixteen (16%) percent lower. Ethan Allen Travel has a record of providing excellent service, they have responded immediately to any problems, and they have provided the County with detailed reports and data collection that allows the County to track its travel purchases.

Employee and Public Services recommends the selection of Ethan Allen Travel based on its proposal and history of good service with the County.


Vision Alignment
Awarding this contract to Ethan Allen fosters the principal of vision point number 21: understanding, supporting, and integrating the County vision into the delivery of services.


Fiscal Impact
The County will pay twenty-two ($22) dollars per transaction for on-line booking or twenty-five ($25) dollars per transaction for booking through a representative for services. These charges will be paid from the budgets of user departments.