State ends mandatory use of online hotel booking firm
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is scrapping a requirement that Louisiana government agencies must use an out-of-state company to book their employees' hotel rooms.
Edwards' top financial adviser, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, announced Monday that he was ending mandatory use of HotelPlanner.com.
In a statement, Dardenne said the policy - enacted by former Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration - didn't produce the promised state budget savings. He also says it hurts the state's hotel industry because of the commissions charged for bookings.
Dardenne sent a memo urging cabinet officials to "use the least expensive and most convenient option" for state employee travel.
The Jindal administration made HotelPlanner.com mandatory for hotel reservations in October 2014. The company received commissions from the hotels, and the state received a small rebate for bookings.
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