eGov/Mil Newsletter: June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014

In this Issue:

  • Nominations Open for IAM Executive Committee Positions; Elections to be Held October 10 at IAM Annual Meeting
  • ETA/DPS Malfunctions
  • SDDC Issues CSS Score Message for Aug 1 Performance Period
  • DOD IG Issues Report on PCS
  • SDDC Message Re: Shipments Being Held Hostage
  • News from the Daycos Weblog
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • Gen. Selva Takes the Reins at USTRANSCOM
  • Davidson Takes Command of SDDC
  • Impacts of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr on Shipping

Nominations Open for IAM Executive Committee Positions; Elections to be Held October 10 at IAM Annual Meeting

Each year the Governing Membership of IAM holds formal elections to determine which individuals will serve on the IAM Executive Committee. Governing Member positions include Chair, Vice Chair, and four Governing Members-At-Large. Details on the responsibilities of these positions and on the election procedures are located in the IAM By-Laws at the back of your IAM Membership Directory and on the IAM website.

The elections will take place during the Governing Members Meeting to be held Friday, October 10, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Orlando, Florida, USA, during the IAM 52nd Annual Meeting.

Should you wish to have your name placed into nomination for any of the IAM Executive Committee positions, please contact a member of the Nominations Committee no later than Wednesday, July 23.  The Nominations Committee members are: 

Don Goldberg - Gridiron Forwarding Co., Inc.

Kourtney Kono - Aloha Worldwide Forwarders, Inc.

Deborah Cooksey Woodall - Suddath Government Services

Each candidate will need to provide a personal profile and color photo (head shot, of high resolution for print) to be published in the September/October Annual Meeting issue of The Portal magazine. Deadline for submission of this information is Friday, August 8.

Reminder: IAM Annual Meeting “Early Bird” Pricing ends on Friday June 20. After that the pricing will move from $1050.00 to $1195.00. Act now to save $145.00/registration.

ETA/DPS Malfunctions

Since June 6, all of the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) user groups have faced huge problems in gaining access to the system. The problems have not all been tied directly to DPS.

The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) believe that the issues began when a water pipe burst at their headquarters, which caused a disruption in the air conditioning system. That disruption led to a failure in the servers that support the Electronic Transportation Acquisition (ETA) portal, which provides access to DPS.

The shutdown of ETA not only blocked access to DPS but to all of the systems used to support SDDC activities in every mode of transportation. 

Eventually, on June 10, SDDC moved ETA to a new set of servers housed at a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) location. The problem with this contingency is that the ETA COOP setup is not nearly as robust as its normal server. So, even after access to DPS was reestablished on Wednesday June 11, connectivity and stability problems continued to plague DPS users.

These problems continue with no end in sight. ETA continues to experience difficulties and DPS access continues to be spotty, with many users having experienced performance slowdowns and timeouts. SDDC and the DPS Program Office believe that the DPS issues are a result of the reduced ETA capability but until the root ETA problems have been identified, it appears the COOP environment will continue as the main server for ETA.

Currently it appears that ETA and DPS may not return to normal operations until the end of June but obviously all parties are working toward an earlier fix.

SDDC has issued a number of updates and workarounds that DPS users should review:

Source: IAM, ETA, DPS Program Office & SDDC

SDDC Issues CSS Score Message for Aug 1 Performance Period

On June 18 SDDC issued its normal Recalculation of Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) Scores message in advance of the August 1 – September 30 Performance Period. TSPs must review their Customer Satisfaction Scores and submit any appeals no later than June 25.  

It is interesting to note that the average CSS score continue to rise. The average score by Market for the last 12 month period is:

  • Domestic HHG (dHHG) - 84.75 
  • International HHG (iHHG) - 81.97
  • International Unaccompanied Baggage (iUB) - 86.26

Source: SDDC & IAM

DOD IG Issues Report on PCS

The House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations requested the DOD Office of the Inspector General perform an audit to determine whether DOD could implement potential cost savings and efficiencies throughout their Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Program.

The final report was issued on May 21, 2014 and the following were the major findings in the report:

While DOD and the Services implemented or plan to implement various initiatives to reduce costs and improve the PCS Program, additional efficiencies and savings within the $4.2 billion PCS Program could be realized by implementing controls to ensure that:

-          the Services are tracking and managing nontemporary storage (NTS) entitlements, and service members assume management and financial responsibility and payment for NTS liabilities after the initial entitlement period expires;

-          the Army improves oversight of overpayments made for service members who exceed their maximum household goods (HHG) weight entitlements when conducting legacy system multiple shipments;

-          personnel property shipping office personnel use the most cost-effective method to accomplish domestic moves weighing 1,000 pounds or less;

Related Military Times article - IG: Cash incentives, closer tracking could cut PCS costs

Source: DOD IG, Military Times

SDDC Message Re: Shipments Being Held Hostage

Though the message was dated June 10, SDDC released the following message on June 17  regarding the consequences of holding DOD personal property shipments “hostage.” Agents CANNOT hold shipments in order to force payment on overdue invoices. Both Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) and their agents will be held responsible in these situations and serious punitive actions will be taken by SDDC on both parties.

SUBJ:  Shipments Being Held Hostage

1. We received notice of agents holding shipments hostage because of nonpayment for service performed on behalf of the TSP.

2. Per United States Code Title 37 Chapter 8, Subchapter I § 453 "No carrier, port agent, warehouseman, freight forwarder, or other person involved in the transportation of property may have any lien on, or hold, impound, or otherwise interfere with, the movement of baggage and household goods being transported under this section."

3. As a participating DOD approved TSP within the Personal Property Program, TSPs are required to provide responsible and reliable transportation on shipments tendered to them under the Government Bill of Lading (GBL). Timely payment for agent and subcontractor services is a critical element of the TSP responsibilities.

4. SDDC may implement an immediate non-use action and convene a Transportation Review Board (TRB) on all cases involving shipments being held IAW the 15-Appendix B “Procedure for Disqualifying and Placing Transportation Service Providers (TSP) in Non-Use”. NTS TSP’s and SIT facilities' punitive action will be IAW Appendix C of the 15-1 and Appendix E, Paragraph A.1 of Part IV of the DTR.

5. All PPSOs, TSPs/TSP agents and subcontractors, are asked to provide the below information to HQ SDDC-PP-QA, Quality Assurance office when you know of a shipment being held hostage:

a.         TSP Name, SCAC,

b.         Members name, GBL number, code of service, pickup date, RDD, origin and destination TOs

c.         Name of agent, street address, city, zip code, and telephone number

d.         Any written documentation from the agent related to the shipment held hostage

 

6.         For questions/concerns on this matter contact army.sddc.safb.ppperf@mail.mil.

This message is approved for release by CAPT Stanley, USN, Director Personal Property, HQ SDDC.

Source: SDDC

News from the Daycos Weblog

DPS Problems Have Short and Long Term Impact on Cash Flow

June 11, 2014

As most TSPs are painfully aware, DPS has suffered a number of technical issues this week. Last Friday afternoon, Daycos first had problems accessing DPS. That particular problem was fixed over the weekend, only to have access to DPS go down again Monday afternoon. This outage was apparently due to a problem with ETA, the system that controls access to not just DPS, but all SDDC computer systems. After being unable to repair the ETA problem, last night SDDC moved to an alternate ETA site. As of this morning, it appeared that the ETA site was functioning, but users were still unable to login to DPS.

Read the Full Article.

Sources: Daycos News

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

Fuel Surcharge for Period 6/15/14 to 7/14/14

The price of fuel was $3.92 per gallon as reported on Monday, June 2, 2014 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 6/15/14 through 7/14/14 as follows:

GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG– 11%

GSA Domestic HHG – $0.91

GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.91

Announcing the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting 2014

NDTA and USTRANSCOM are once again co-sponsoring a Fall Meeting at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, 28-30 October 2014. The purpose of the meeting is to stimulate wider interest and inquiry into technical and professional issues involving Department of Defense (DOD) transportation requirements. The meeting will provide information, training, and strategic overview for personnel of the DOD, and will also assist industry in anticipating and meeting future DOD needs.

Visit the NDTA website to register and for more information. http://www.ndtahq.com/FallMtg14.htm

GSA CHAMP Pre-Bid Meeting

Please mark your calendars and plan on joining us for our annual CHAMP RFO Pre-Bid meeting:

When:   August 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM EST

Where:  GSA Headquarters, 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC

Who:    All approved CHAMP TSPs or those TSPs interested in CHAMP.

We will provide additional information and an agenda prior to the meeting, but wanted to get the date and time to you so that you could make plans to attend.

As we are still working on the agenda and the possible presenters, please contact Robyn Bennett at 816-823-3644 or robyn.bennett@gsa.gov if there is something specific you would like added to the agenda.

Thank you and hope to see you on August 6th!

Sources:  IAM, GSA, USTC, NDTA, SDDC & Daycos News - http://blog.daycos.com/

Gen. Selva Takes the Reins at USTRANSCOM

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva took command of U.S. Transportation Command in a ceremony today at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel presided over the ceremony, during which Selva became the 11th USTRANSCOM commander and the outgoing commander, Gen. William M. Fraser III, retired.

“It is no exaggeration to say that our military could not do its job without TRANSCOM’s capabilities on the ground, at sea, and in the air,” Hagel said.  “You help keep our people fed, our equipment fueled, and you help get everyone and everything to where they need to be on a scale that surpasses any organization in the world.

“As you all know, General Fraser was a bomber pilot before coming to TRANSCOM.  But that didn’t stop him from succeeding here.  Because, in the words of TRANSCOM’s first commander, General Duane Cassidy:

Leadership does not depend upon whether you can operate the equipment.  You can be taught how to fly airplanes, operate tanks, or drive ships; you can’t be taught how to be a leader … You have to be willing to make a commitment to somebody other than yourself.

Hagel also commented on Selva’s leadership.

“General Selva has proven himself to be a leader who embraces change and innovation,” Hagel said.  “Just recently, as the leader of Air Mobility Command, he oversaw the critical design review for America’s newest refueling tanker, the KC-46 Pegasus, and he personally delivered the final C-17 to complete the Air Force’s fleet.”

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the podium next, and acknowledged USTRANSCOM's accomplishments under Fraser’s command.

“Thank you young men and women of United States Transportation Command,” Dempsey said.  “One of our military’s greatest strengths is that our people know when they ask for something, they’re going to get it.  No matter the danger or the circumstances they trust that what they need is on the way because it’s in the hands of Transportation Command and the men and women who populate your ranks.

“You are truly what makes us global,” Dempsey continued, “so on behalf of the Joint Chiefs who I represent, thank you for what you do.  That trust, even more than the material you deliver, makes us the strongest military that the world has ever known.”

Once the flag was passed and command assumed by Selva, he thanked all involved.

Selva spoke on the trust needed to always successfully deliver the strategic mobility required to achieve the nation’s objectives.

He also thanked what he called “Our fifth component…our civilian partners, airlines, oversea carriers, rail companies and trucking companies that truly bring mobility to our nation, in times of peace and in times of war, to you we are forever indebted“

Next Fraser received an award and his retirement certificate.  He then addressed the crowd and members of his former command.

“I came to you relatively uninitiated into the mobility world but yet you took me in.  You taught me the concepts and you have made me an enthusiastic advocate,” Fraser said.  “Secretary Hagel, these people consistently do absolutely amazing things as you mentioned and they make it look routine…I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to have had this opportunity to be the commander of United States Transportation Command.”

USTRANSCOM, one of nine combatant commands, provides air, land and sea transportation, terminal management and aerial refueling to support the global deployment, employment, sustainment and redeployment of U.S. forces. Its components include the Army's Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, the Navy's Military Sealift Command in Washington, D.C., and the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, Norfolk, Va.

Gen. Paul J. Selva’s biography can be found online.

Source: US.S. Transportation Command

Davidson Takes Command of SDDC

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Brig. Gen. Susan A. Davidson became the 19th commanding general of the U.S. Army's Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command today during a change of command ceremony, also marking her third assignment here.

Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, outgoing commanding general, retired after 34 years of service in the U.S. Army.

Army Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., was the presiding official and Air Force Gen. Paul A. Selva, commander of U.S. Transportation Command was the host.

Davidson has held a wide variety of command and staff positions. Previous to this assignment, she served as commander of Defense Logistics Agency Distribution.

Her key assignments include deputy commanding general/director of operations, SDDC; director, Integration and Strategy, G43/7 in the Deputy Chief of Staff Logistics, G4; executive officer to the deputy commanding general of AMC; deputy G3, 13th Corps Support Command; joint mobility operations officer, USTRANSCOM; executive officer and support operations officer, 524th Corps Support Battalion; Group S4, 45th Corps Support Group; Army reserve advisor, 78th Infantry Division; group plans officer, operations officer, and chemical staff officer, 7th Transportation Group; and director of Human Resources Command, Logistics Officers Assignment Branch for Captains.

Davidson has commanded at company, battalion and brigade level in peace and war. She commanded the 870th Transportation Company for 17 months, including an 11-month deployment in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. As a battalion commander, she commanded the 49th Movement Control Battalion forward during Operation Iraqi Freedom at Fort Hood, Texas. In 2007, she assumed command of SDDC's 599th Transportation Group, and deployed forward to simultaneously serve as commander of the 595th Terminal Transportation Group in Kuwait for six months before returning to Hawaii to finish her 599th command time.

Her military education includes the Chemical Officer Basic Course, Transportation Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Air Command and Staff College, Support Operations Course, Phase II, and the Navy War College. She holds a Master of Military Art and Science degree in Advanced Military Studies, and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

SDDC provides global surface deployment and distribution services to meet the nation's objectives and deploys/sustains about 90 percent of Department of Defense equipment and supplies by leveraging the capability of commercial industry and other military services.

Source: SDDC Command Affairs Office

Impacts of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr on Shipping

The SDDC released a document this month about the impact of Ramadan (the holy month of fasting in Islam) and Eid al Fitr (the celebratory end of Ramadan) on CENTCOM AOR shipments. While this document is definitely geared toward military shipments, it is a good model for those trying to land goods and arrange logistics in any Islamic country during this time. Keep in mind that Ramadan is observed from June 28 through July 28 this year, and that some ports and customs offices may have restricted hours. A little advanced planning goes a long way.

Full Story at SDDC >