eGov/Mil Newsletter: December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

In this Issue:

  • Helpdesk No Longer Taking Inbound Calls from TSPs for CSS
  • SDDC Issues 2015 Rate Filing Message
  • CIP, COR & Bond Reminder
  • SDDC Rescinds the “2.5 Percent Rule” for Bonds
  • HOS Restart Rule Reverts to Pre-July 2013 Status; Questions and Answers
  • FMCSA’s Website Updates HOS Enforcement Guidance
  • Deadline for Resubmitting Unpaid NTS Invoices Nearing
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • Air Force Secretary Vows No More Layoffs in 2015
  • Military Installation Access Survey

Help Desk No Longer Taking Inbound Calls from TSPs for CSS

Editor’s Note: The item below is commentary and follow-up from a blog post in the IAM Social Café on Dec. 16.

SDDC originally planned to have a message out to industry outlining this critical change on Dec. 16, but that message was delayed and is expected to be released on Dec. 18.

IAM staff took part in a call with SDDC staff on Dec. 17 to discuss this change. SDDC seems to have made the decision to no longer allow inbound calls to the help desk by TSPs assisting their customers, trying to complete a telephonic Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) for a number of reasons:

  1. The call volume had become so extreme that it was beginning to overwhelm the entire help desk staff. There have been a total of 53,000 calls to the help desk in 2014 (Jan. – Nov.) and a large uptick in the most recent few months.
  2. For more than a month, connecting to the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) has been problematic for help desk staff. This has caused very long wait times for TSPs, military members and the help desk staff trying to complete surveys.
  3. The help desk contract does not contain any provisions for the contractor to accept inbound calls to complete CSS. The idea of allowing inbound calls from TSPs assisting members to complete their CSS has been in place for some time but exploded earlier this year when the encrypted link to the survey, which was sent to transferees, was removed. The help desk does have a contractual requirement to complete 500 outbound calls per day to customers of TSPs that do not meet statistical validity for completed CSS. The current level of inbound calls and the DPS issues have not allowed the contractor to meet those requirements.
  4. Due to the long wait times, many TSPs had reverted to calling the help desk, but when finally connected to a help desk representative they did not have the military member on the line (not wanting them to have to hold during the long wait), they ask the representative to hold while they call the member, and when the member is reached and connected to the help desk representative, they all have to wait to connect to DPS and the CSS module. This process has become common and is dominating help desk personnel time.
  5. Though not stated specifically, it is believed that this move is also an attempt to bring full credibility to the survey process. SDDC believes that some TSPs may be offering incentives to have transferees complete the survey. Some question the customer validation process through the help desk and questions have been raised as to whether it is possible that some within industry may be completing surveys on behalf of members.

All of these issues have led SDDC to feel that the elimination of the TSP-initiated telephonic CSS process was a move they need to make.

The original blog post from Dec. 16:

In discussions with SDDC personnel yesterday (12-15-14) IAM learned that SDDC and the System Response Center (SRC)/Helpdesk has decided they will no longer be accepting inbound calls from Transportation Service Providers (TSP) attempting to connect service members attempting to complete their Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS). They will only accept inbound calls DIRECTLY from service members looking to complete a survey.

IAM was told that a message from the Command would be issued as early as today (12-16-14) announcing their new position. But, before the message could even be issued IAM has learned that the Helpdesk is refusing to take survey calls from TSPs effective this morning.

We think it is obvious that this will have a very negative effect on the CSS response rate. Well in excess of 50% of the surveys are currently being completed via calls to the Helpdesk and most of those are connected with the assistance of a TSP.

SDDC has said that this action was taken in part due to the huge workload necessary to complete the large volume of inbound calls to the Helpdesk. Much of the time is taken when TSPs call trying to connect a member to the Helpdesk but the member is not actually on the phone. The TSP asks the Helpdesk personnel to wait for them to reach the member and then will connect them once that occurs. They feel this process is too time consuming and a drain on the Helpdesk resources.

The plan is to focus on outbound calls to members from the Helpdesk. The Helpdesk contractor's is required to make a large number of outbound calls to members encouraging them to complete the CSS. They will concentrate their efforts on contacting customers of TSPs that do not have a statistically valid number of surveys.

This is a dramatic change from the current process which had become the predominant way for a TSP to obtain CSS after the removal of the encrypted link sent to service members after their move was completed.

Source: IAM & SDDC

SDDC Issues 2015 Rate Filing Message

SDDC issued the following message regarding the 2015 Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Rate Filing on Thursday December 18, 2014. The “Draft Rate Filing User Guide TSP Edition” is available on the SDDC site.

SDDC-PP ADVISORY 15-0015

DATE: 18 Dec 14

FROM:  SDDC-PP and USTRANSCOM/PEO-T HHGS Scott AFB, IL

TO:  All DOD Personal Property Approved Transportation Service Providers (TSP)

SUBJECT:  2015 Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Rate Filing Notice

A.  Rate Filing Dates/Times

      Round 1:  01 Feb 15 (6:00 PM CST) - 06 Feb 15 (6:00 PM CST)

      Round 2:  24 Feb 15 (6:00 PM CST) - 03 Mar 15 (6:00 PM CST)

B.  Bid Component Data Retention

1. TSPs filing for Domestic channels must file four components: Peak Linehaul, Non-Peak Linehaul, Peak SIT, and Non-Peak SIT rates.  All four components MUST be accepted by the end of Round 2 in order for the bid to be considered valid. For TSPs filing in both Domestic and International Markets using the Bulk Rate File method, separate Bulk Rate Files must be filed for each market.

2.  During Round 2, TSPs will not be able to re-file all components of a rate channel (Peak/Non-Peak Linehaul and Peak/Non-Peak SIT) if a rate rejection is due to issues with only one of the four rate components.  Example: If a TSP receives a Round 1 "Error Code 4" rate rejection for the Peak single factor rate (TSP Intl-Rate/Domestic discount is higher than acceptable high for this Channel and Code of Service), the TSP cannot change the accepted Non-Peak Single Factor Rate for the same channel/code of service in Round 2.  Likewise, if a TSP receives a Round 1 "Error Code 8" for the Peak Linehaul Bid (TSP Intl-Rate/Domestic discount is lower than the acceptable low for this Channel and Code of Service), The TSP cannot change the accepted Non-Peak Linehaul, the Peak SIT, or the Non-Peak SIT bid for the same Channel/Code of Service in Round 2.

3.  TSPs using the Bulk Rate Filing method must re-submit all accepted bid components (Peak/Non-Peak Linehaul, Peak/Non-Peak SIT, and Peak/Non-Peak Single Factor Rates).  Previously accepted bids will not be replaced/overwritten.  As a reminder, TSPs will receive an error code indicating that a specific bid component was accepted in the Round 1 rate filing period.  Note: TSPs using Workbench cannot re-file accepted bid components.

C.  TSP Responsibilities

     1.  Effective 01 October 2011, DOD implemented the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) program which requires digital certificates (CAC/ECA).  TSPs must comply with the ETA digital certificate policy and/or contact one of the External Certificate Authorities (ECAS) from the following web links to purchase digital certificates (see DISA'S ECA website at HTTP://IASE.DISA.MIL/PKI/ECA/ to ensure continued access to DPS.  Go to HTTPS://ETA.SDDC.ARMY.MIL, then click "ECA INSTRUCTIONS" link or "Contact the ETA administrator" at SDDC.SAFB.ETAADMINHD@US.ARMY.MIL for more information.  TSPs are responsible for meeting the above requirement and should not anticipate any exceptions to this DOD mandate for rate filing.

     2.  TSPs or TSP representative are responsible for computing their own rates, and must be familiar with the 400NG, 400NG Baseline Rates, International Tender, and International Tables located at WWW.SDDC.ARMY.MIL. Follow site path: Personal Property>Defense Personal Property>Links.

             a.      Information on how to file rates is located at site path: Personal Property>Defense Personal Property Program (DP3)>Defense Personal Property System> DPS Rate Filing User Guide TSP Edition. 

Note:  A Draft Rate Filing User Guide TSP Edition is attached below which includes the new DPS Workbench procedures.  The final version will be posted as soon as it is completed.

             b.      Additionally, TSPs are responsible for establishing quality controls and procedures that ensure they have the necessary operating authorities to file those rates.

     3.  TSPs are advised the DPS Bulk Rate Filing upload screen time is displayed in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the DPS Workbench screen times are displayed in Central Standard Time (CST).  A System Change Request (SCR) has been created to display both CST and GMT times; however, this will not be fixed for the upcoming Rate Filing.

D. Minimum Performance Score (MPS)

The Minimum Performance Score (MPS) for the 2015 Rate Cycle is set at 50.10 for Domestic Household Goods, 52.8 for International Household Goods and 57 for International Baggage Markets.

E.  By filing DP3 rates under this solicitation, TSPs agree to the following statement:

"I understand that the DOD will continue moving shipments utilizing DPS and the Legacy Transportation Operational Personal Property Standard System (TOPS), and that filing rates in DPS does not guarantee that DPS will be the sole system used to allocate shipments.  I understand that the use of DPS will increase as system capability progresses and that continued TOPS usage may be necessary for Non-DPS Rate Filings (i.e. One-Time-Only and Special Solicitations)."

F.  Points of Contact

     1.  Email rate filing questions to SDDC.SAFB.DPSRATEFIL@US.ARMY.MIL.

     2.  Report technical issues to Defense Personal Property System (DPS)

          Help Desk

             a. Telephone:  Toll Free (800) 462-2176; COMM (618) 220-7332

             b. Email:  USARMY.SCOTT.SDDC.MBX.G6-SRC-DPS-HD@MAIL.MIL

             c. Internet: HTTPS://WWW.SDDC-SRCHELPME.COM

G.  This is a coordinated SDDC/PP and PEO-T message and is approved for release by Aaron K. Stanley, CAPT, SC, USN, Director, Personal Property, HQ SDDC.

Source: IAM & SDDC

CIP, COR & Bond Reminder

Don’t forget that your Certificate of Independent Pricing (CIP) and your Certificate of Responsibility (COR) must be updated by January 12, 2015. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences.

Also your SDDC Performance Bonds and Insurance must be updated in 2014 to remain viable. You only have until December 31, 2014 to accomplish that task. The recent SDDC message below indicates that “effective January 1, 2015all TSPs who have not updated their insurance and bonds in DPS will receive DPS rejection notices. Failure to respond will result in punitive actions.” Moving forward, bonds need to be update annually.

SDDC-PP Advisory 15-0012

DATE: 26 NOVEMBER 2014
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL

TO: DOD-APPROVED PERSONAL PROPERTY TRANSPORTATION SERVICE PROVIDERS (TSP)

SUBJ: ANNUAL QUALIFICATIONS CERTIFICATE OF INDEPENDENT PRICING AND CERTIFICATE OF RESPONSIBILITY REVIEW

1. It is mandatory that all Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) update their Certificate of Responsibility (COR) and Certificate of Independent Pricing (CIP) in the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) before the 2015 rate cycle.   Updates can be made starting Dec 2, 2014 and MUST be completed by Jan 12, 2015.

2. Request all TSPs go into DPS to review, update and submit CIP/COR documents for approval.  Once completed, you must ensure the documents are in “UNDER REVIEW” status and not in “IN PROGRESS” or “SUBMITTED” status.  ONLY the President or CEO can certify and submit the CIP/COR documents.

3. Failure to update your qualification documents will preclude you from filing rates. Questions may be sent to army.sddc.safb.ppqual@mail.mil.

4. Please note SDDC will no longer be providing telephonic reminders for the CIP/COR and other qualification documents.

5. Reminder, effective Jan 1, 2015 all TSPs who have not updated their insurance and bonds in DPS will receive DPS rejection notices.  Failure to respond will result in punitive actions.

6. This message is approved for release by David Jones, Lead, Quality Assurance Team, HQ SDDC.

Source: IAM & SDDC

SDDC Rescinds the “2.5 Percent Rule” for Bonds

The requirement that Transportation Service Providers (TSP) procure Performance Bonds based on 2.5 percent of their revenue was rescinded by SDDC in a message sent to the industry on Friday December 12. Now all TSPs are able to maintain bonds at the minimum levels of: International - $150,000 and Domestic - $50,000. These bonds must be updated on an annual basis in DPS.

Date: December 12, 2014 at 9:37:12 PM EST
Subject: RESCINDING THE "2.5 PERCENT REVENUE" BOND RULE

HQ SDDC-PP ADVISORY # 15-0013
DATE: 05 DECEMBER 2014
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: DOD-APPROVED TRANSPORTATION SERVICE PROVIDERS (TSP)

SUBJ: RESCINDING THE "2.5 PERCENT REVENUE" BOND RULE

1. During the November 18, 2014 Fall Personal Property Forum (PPF), SDDC proposed enforcing TSP compliance with the performance bond criteria stated n SDDC Pamphlet 55-4, Transportation Service Provider Qualifications. The pamphlet is posted on the SDDC public Web page, http://www.sddc.army.mil/PP/default.aspx. Readers can view the details under SDDC Pamphlet 55-4, paragraph 3.8, page 9.

2. SDDC completed an annual policy review and assessed the current bond requirements. Based on our analysis, we found no need to enforce a 2.5 percent increase for bonds over $150,000. The "2.5 percent" reference will be removed from the 2015 updated release of SDDC Pamphlet 55-4, and no action will be taken on those for which this rule applies.

3. Please Email questions on this advisory to army.sddc.safb.ppperf@mail.mil.

4. This message is approved for release by Ms. Jill Smith, Chief, Business Processes and Systems Integration Division, HQ SDDC.

Source: IAM & SDDC

HOS Restart Rule Reverts to Pre-July 2013 Status; Questions and Answers

Questions and answers on the impact of the suspension of the HOS restart provision approved by Congress (as supplied by American Trucking Associations): 

On Dec. 13, Congress passed the fiscal year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill, providing funding for the vast majority of the federal government, including the Department of Transportation, for the current fiscal year. The President is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. Officially titled the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, the bill is over 1,700 pages long and has a host of detailed spending and policy-related provisions affecting many industries. 

Read the Full Story

FMCSA’s Website Updates HOS Enforcement Guidance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated its website Dec. 17 to reflect the recent suspension of parts of its hours of service rule, a change that took effect when President Obama signed a $1 trillion bill into law Dec. 16.

On its hours of service page, the agency noted that it has suspended the “requirements regarding the restart of a driver’s 60- or 70-hour limit that drivers were required to comply with” since July 1, 2013.

Read the Full Story

Deadline for Resubmitting Unpaid NTS Invoices Nearing

Approximately one year ago, SDDC Regional Storage Management Offices had requested Non Temporary Storage (NTS) providers supply them with a list of unpaid manual invoices in an effort to resolve the past due payment issue affecting invoices that were due prior to the implementation of the electronic invoicing process through Syncada.  Upon reviewing the lists of past due NTS invoices it was determined that not only was the review of thousands of shipments a very time consuming process, but a number of the invoices could not be processed for various reasons.

Read the Full Story

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

The Next IAM eGov Newsletter

The release of the next IAM eGov Newsletter is scheduled to be in two weeks but that falls during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The IAM offices are closed during that time, so the next eGov will be published shortly after the New Year. However, members will still be able to find the latest DOD and U.S. Government news in the IAM Social Café. Pay particular attention to IAM’s Director of Government & Military GOV/MIL Blog for the latest breaking information.

SDDC “What’s New” – 2015 Solicitation/Tariff Released

MPS Correction

Previously in this newsletter it was noted that the 2015 Minimum Performance Score (MPS) for the DP3 program would become effective with the January 1 – May 14, 2015 Performance Period. After further consultation with SDDC it has been verified that the MPS will be tied to the start of the 2015 Annual Cycle, not the 2015 calendar year.

So the 2015 MPS will not become effective until May 15, 2015.

The MPS for 2015, as stated in the recently released Rate Filing message are set at “50.10 for Domestic Household Goods, 52.8 for International Household Goods and 57 for International Baggage Markets.”

Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers

FMCSA announces that it is considering a rulemaking that would increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers, including liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage; establish financial responsibility requirements for passenger carrier brokers; implement financial responsibility requirements for brokers and freight forwarders; and revise existing rules concerning self-insurance and trip insurance. FMCSA seeks public comments on these topics.

Currently household goods motor carriers are required to have a minimum insurance level of $750,000 and household goods brokers and freight forwarders are required to be secured at $75,000.

The agency will accept comments until Feb. 26, 2015 on the regulations.gov rulemaking portal.

IAM’s Director of Government & Military Relations Scheduled to Speak in San Diego

Chuck White, IAM’s Director of Government & Military Relations, is scheduled to speak at the California Moving & Storage Association’s (CMSA) San Diego Chapter January meeting on Thursday, January 15. The meeting will be held at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse restaurant in San Diego. Both CMSA and IAM members are welcome to attend.

See the meeting notification more details.

Fuel Surcharge for Period 12/15/14 to 1/14/15

The price of fuel was $3.61 per gallon as reported on Monday, December 1, 2014 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 12/15/14 through 1/14/15 as follows:

GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG – 9%
GSA Domestic HHG – $0.61
GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.61

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Air Force Secretary Vows No More Layoffs in 2015

The U.S. Air Force no longer plans another round of layoffs in fiscal 2015, the service's top civilian said.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made the announcement on Tuesday during an online discussion with troops, marking a shift in personnel policy for the service, which had planned on involuntarily separating more airmen to further downsize the active-duty force.

Read the Full Story

Military Installation Access Survey

Editor’s Note: Access to military installations continues to be an issue for all organizations doing work on military bases. IAM is supporting the National Defense Transportation Association’s (NDTA) effort to gather information/data on the scope of the problem in order to provide DOD with feedback, supporting our efforts to standardize and streamline the process of getting commercial personnel on to military bases. If you are an organization that must access military installations, we encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey described below.

 As military carriers are all aware, motor carriers frequently experience a wide range of challenges accessing military installations, including inconsistent standards, various forms of ID required, various types of background checks performed, background checks returning false information, and more. The NDTA Surface Committee and Munitions Sub-Committee have been working closely with USTRANSCOM and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in an effort to standardize and/or improve the process.

In order to quantify the magnitude of this issue, OSD and USTRANSCOM have requested that motor carriers provide "hard historical data," by directing drivers to complete a short survey each time they pick up or deliver a DOD load (i.e. attempt to access a base or installation). The proposed duration of the survey is between 1 October and 31 December of 2014.

The Driver Survey on DOD Installation Access is available electronically and is accessible on mobile devices, or may be completed by hand using this form. Carriers are asked to instruct drivers to begin collecting data immediately, each time they enter a military installation/facility, and to continue doing so through the end of the year. Paper surveys may be consolidated and mailed or emailed to the following: National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), ATTN: Mr James Veditz, 50 South Pickett Street, Suite 220, Alexandria, VA 22304. Forms may also be emailed to jveditz@ndtahq.com.

Source: NDTA, AMSA & IAM