eGov/Mil Newsletter: February 27, 2015
In this Issue:
- AMSA Military Summit Review
- DP3 2015 Rate Filing Update
- SDDC Message Regarding Short Fuse and Click Counts
- West Coast Ports Reach Labor Agreement, Backlog will take Months to Clear
- Army Mulls Cutting Troops in Alaska, Officials Say
- GSA CHAMPS Supplemental Rate Filing Window Opens
- SDDC Special Solicitation Rate Filing Reminder
- DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
- Registration Open for Regional IAM & ILN Meeting in Belfast
- The clock is ticking... time to pay your company's IAM member dues invoice
The Military Summit was the final session of the 96th American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) Annual Education Conference & Expo. The meeting took place on Feb. 11 and the main presenters were Capt. Aaron Stanley, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) Director of Personal Property, and Lt. Col. Gina Prevett, Program Director, Defense Personal Property System Program Management Office (DPS PMO).
Capt. Stanley focused his comments on issues surrounding the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) while Lt. Col. Prevett focused on current issues affecting the Defense Personal Property System (DPS).
The major issues discussed were:
Open Season – After previously indicating that SDDC would hold an intrastate open season in 2015, it now appears that may be on hold. SDDC leadership has asked the Personal Property Directorate to conduct an analysis of their available capacity to further define what capacity is actually available to DOD, particularly during the peak season. From that analysis, SDDC will determine if an open season is truly needed and the entrant criteria which should be used when/if an open season is to be held.
There is a question regarding whether some type of requalification of the current Transportation Service Providers (TSP) will be held in conjunction with an open season. The criteria for any type of requalification is also still under consideration.
Capt. Stanley did reiterate that the current plan is to begin with holding an open season in the intrastate market and then to follow up with an international and domestic open season in successive years.
Alcohol in International Shipments – The military services have come to a preliminary decision to pay TSPs directly for any costs associated with the movement of alcohol in a military member’s household goods shipments, including customs broker fees, and then seek reimbursement for those cost directly from the military members.
A few services may decide to stop moving alcohol in household goods shipments altogether and move alcohol separately via the Personally Procured Move (PPM) method.
Further specific details are to be communicated by SDDC soon.
Base Access – A way ahead on the standardization for base access by the trucking industry as a whole is being championed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). It appears that progress has been made on solidifying the use of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) as a standard for universal access to military installations.
Details are still being reviewed by an OSD working group, which includes all of the Military Services. It is hoped that a consensus can be reach and the information disseminated in the March/April timeframe.
Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) – Industry expressed their concerns regarding the recent changes to the role that TSPs can play in assisting military members complete their CSS. The industry fears that a significant drop in the CSS response rate will result. We also fear that along with the response rate reduction will come a drop in the average CSS by market due to a rise in nay-sayers bias.
Capt. Stanley indicated that the current CSS metrics do not show a significant difference in what has previously been seen. He promised to continue monitoring the numbers closely. He believes the new encrypted link, hopefully scheduled for release this year, will help make it easier for military members to complete their CSS.
This remains a serious concern for IAM and our leadership.
Short Fuse “Clicks” – Concerns have been raised to SDDC regarding the belief that some TSPs have found a way to circumvent the short fuse shipment click count rules. SDDC is closely monitoring the situation and has begun the process of having enhanced oversight measures added to DPS.
There has been much uncertainty within industry as to what constitutes a click and industry has asked for a more detail definition from SDDC on what specifically comprises a click in the short fuse queue.
SDDC has promised they will issue a communication further defining this issue.
Minimum Performance Score (MPS) – The MPS for 2015 was established in July 2014. IAM raised concerns that the MPS levels had been set too early to be truly valid since they would not come into effect until the May 15, 2015 performance period. The levels, as currently set, may not still be valid.
SDDC seems to understand our concerns and Capt. Stanley indicated that the MPS levels will be revised.
The MPS levels for 2016 will be established later this year, around October.
Personal Property Forums (PPF) – In the past, two PPFs have been held each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. SDDC will only hold one PPF in 2015. It will be held in the fall, possibly in September.
The meeting may be held in the Washington, DC area to hopefully increase the ability for the military services to participate.
Lt. Col. Prevett provided a fairly bleak picture for the DPS development schedule. It appears that almost all of the system enhancements scheduled for 2015 have been “pushed to the right” (delayed).
No fiscal year 2015 development schedule has been established and it is unclear when a solid schedule will be put in place.
This environment seems to have raised grave concerns not only for industry but also within the DPS PMO.
It seems little progress is being made on DPS and the way ahead seems unclear. None of the development goals for 2015 will be met and the goals for 2016 seem to be in great jeopardy.
Lt Col Prevett did point out some of the positives regarding DPS. It is the system of record for DP3 and it successfully helped to counsel and aide in the shipment management process for more than 550,000 shipments in FY14.
But with development seemingly at a standstill, much-needed software enhancements like Software Change Request 6975, which allows refused shipments to automatically move to the next TSP in line for review without Shipping Office intervention, is on hold.
A new FY15 schedule is in the works and is expected to be socialized in mid-April, more than six months after the start of the fiscal year.
Lt. Col. Prevett believed that the FY16 schedule could include the start of Phase III of DPS beginning with Non-Temporary Storage (NTS), as well as the document imaging capability and a new user role matrix, but with no FY15 schedule fully defined, it seems to be anyone’s guess at this point what the schedule for future enhancements to DPS will look like.
.Source: IAM, DPS PMO & SDDC
Editor’s Note: The following item was posted in the IAM Social Café on Feb. 19.
This entry on the IAM Social Café is now a little dated but still is very appropriate. Since its publication, it has been overcome by events somewhat. Round 1 of the 2015 rate filing was extended twice but finally closed on February 24.
The DPS PMO and its contractor CACI were unsuccessful in fixing the new Workbench portion of the new DPS Rate Riling Module. TSPs were forced to move forward with the rate filing process without being able to verify or validate that their rates had been successfully uploaded to the system.
This met with a great deal of consternation from the industry but SDDC assured everyone that the bulk rate uploading process was working and that if any anomalies were discovered, SDDC would work with TSPs to help sort them out.
IAM is monitoring the situation closely and has been communicating with SDDC on almost a daily basis. IAM wants to ensure that none of our members are hurt in any way by the problems associated being unable to verify rates before the closing of Round 1.
I believe the old phrase.... "It seems like Déjà Vu all over again" is normally attributed to U.S. Major League Baseball legend "Yogi" Berra but it seems to have become the mantra for the DOD household goods industry, especially during rate filing.
It seems like every year something goes wrong with the rate filing process and DOD approved Transportation Service Providers (TSP) find themselves in some type of rate filing purgatory.
This year the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) introduced a new rate filing module into the rate filing process. The new module replaced the "old" Manugistics module of the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) and was suppose to add new and improved functionality for the TSP users. If history has taught DPS users anything, it is to be wary of the addition of new functionality to DPS. This recent "upgrade" seems to be following the same pattern.
IAM has been discussing this new functionality with SDDC and the DPS Program Management Office for over a year. We expressed our trepidation regarding the timing for the introduction the new module and have constantly voiced our concerns regarding the many pitfalls that could surface following the addition of an "enhanced" rate filing process.
Though tested thoroughly, by both DOD and industry testers, in the DPS "test" environment.... as soon as the new functionality was introduced into the real DPS "production" environment problems began to surface. At this point things have degraded to the point that the new rate filing "Workbench" or User Interface will not even load for TSPs. This is critical because at this point TSPs have no way to verify or validate the rates that they have pushed into the system.
SDDC has extended the first round of the 2015 DP3 rate filing through Monday evening, February 23 in hopes that the problem can be resolved by the DPS contractor CACI and the DPS Program Management Office (PMO). But at this point the problems continue.
On February 17 SDDC issued a message which signaled the extension of Round 1 and also indicated they hoped for a fix to be in place no later than Friday evening, February 20. If successful that would allow three days (Saturday - Monday) for TSPs to review and validate their rates. IAM has requested that SDDC provide an additional day, Tuesday February 24, since two non-business days are included in the three day extension.
BUT.....at this point we have no guarantees that a resolution to the problem will be implemented prior to Friday. SDDC also signaled in their message that TSPs should be prepared to move forward with the rate filing process in case a full resolution to the problem is not identified. We find that an untenable situation and have asked SDDC to reconsider that course of action. TSPs need to be able to validate their rates before the rate filing proceeds.
So....we are now back in a similar position to what we have found ourselves in the last three years. We have problems with the DP3 rate filing, no clear way ahead and no real timeline for solutions. Seems like.....Déjà Vu all over again!
Editor’s Note: At the recent American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) Annual Education Conference & Expo’s Military Summit, the subject of the manipulation of loopholes in the DPS Short fuse queue was discussed at length. A number of questions were raised. SDDC promised to address the issues discussed on the subject and did so in the following message, which was issued on Feb. 25.
Subject: REMINDER -- DEFENSE PERSONAL PROPERTY SYSTEM (DPS) SHORT FUSE SHIPMENT POLICY
SDDC-PP ADVISORY # 15-0035
DATE: 25 Feb 2015
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: DOD-Approved Personal Property Transportation Service Providers (TSP)
SUBJECT: REMINDER -- DEFENSE PERSONAL PROPERTY SYSTEM (DPS) SHORT FUSE SHIPMENT POLICY
1. Recent shipment data analysis shows that some of our DOD-approved TSPs are circumventing the DPS short fuse click/hit count limits to obtain short fused shipments. The known methods used to dodge the click count limits have given an unfair advantage to noncompliant violators at the expense of those TSPs who honor HQ SDDC’s policies.
2. HQ SDDC will monitor all short fuse shipment awards by Standard Alpha Carrier Code (SCAC), with an emphasis on the methodologies TSPs use to obtain those shipments. As a reminder, TSPs accessing the short fuse page must comply with the short fuse criteria.
- a. What is a click or hit in regards to the DPS short fuse page?
1. Clicking the hyperlinks leading to the short fuse page; and
2. Clicking on the “View” button on the shipment offer.
b. The maximum 100 clicks or hits per hour, not to exceed 2,400 clicks or hits per 24 hours, applies to ALL SCACs accessing the short fuse page. The 100 clicks per hour apply to each SCAC. There should be no more than two users accessing the short fuse page simultaneously.
c. Any user, software overlay, and/or device that forces the short fuse page to constantly refresh will be prevented from accessing the short fuse page until proof of corrective actions is taken.
d. Any user, software overlay, and/or device that causes a short fuse shipment to lock beyond five (5) minutes will be prevented from accessing the short fuse page until proof of corrective action is taken.
3. HQ SDDC will award punitive action to any TSP or individual user who willingly violates the short fuse policy. Punitive actions may include blocking violators from accessing the short fuse page for up to thirty (30) calendar days to more permanent penalties based on the severity (based on HQ SDDC discretion.)
4. Please email questions relating to this message to: email@example.com
5. Please report all DPS technical issues to the SDDC Systems Response Center
b. Telephone: Toll-free (800) 462-2176; COMM (618) 589-9445, Option 5
c. Internet: https://www.sddc-srchelpme.com
6. This message was approved for release by Ms. Jill Smith, Chief, Business Processes and Systems Integration Division, HQ SDDC.
Source: SDDC & IAM
West Coast Ports Reach Labor Agreement, Backlog will take Months to Clear
West Coast port employers and labor have finally reached a tentative agreement, and port truckers serving the 29 Pacific ports are asking terminal operators waive or reduce backlog related fees.
The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced a proposed agreement on a five-year contract, but provided no details. “Our ports now can resume full operation,” the PMA and ILWU announced Feb. 20.
Army Mulls Cutting Troops in Alaska, Officials Say
The Army could remove the bulk of its forces in Alaska under cost-saving plans that will cut active-duty ranks by tens of thousands of troops, the military said.
Department of the Army officials are in Alaska this week talking to people about the looming force cuts — mandated under the Budget Control Act of 2011, commonly known as sequestration. The act required that the Army reduce its troop strength from a high of 570,000 in 2010 to 450,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017. If sequestration-level funding continues in fiscal year 2016, the Army will have to reduce its active duty force to 420,000.
The Supplemental Filing Window of the 2014 - 2015 CHAMP Request for Offers (RFO) dated August 29, 2014 opened on Feb. 9. All rate offers submitted in response to the Supplemental Filing Window are due by 10:00 PM Central Standard Time on Mar. 23.
**Editors Note: Any internationally approved TSP wishing to bid on the SDDC’s International Special Solicitation (SS) must do so during the current DP3/DPS rate filing. The current SS bidding and shipment awards processes take place in the old TOPS environment but the plan is to transition the SS to DPS sometime in the next year.
In order to participate, once that transition occurs, a TSP must have filed rates in DPS. That can only occur during this current DPS rate filing.
SDDC-PP Advisory 15-0036
DATE: 25 February 2015
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTATION SERVICE PROVIDERS (TSPs) AND SERVICE HEADQUARTERS
SUBJ: 2015 DEFENSE PERSONAL PROPERTY SYSTEM (DPS) INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL SOLICITATION RATE FILING REMINDER
1. TSPs with proper International (INTL) authority are reminded that their opportunity to file rates in DPS Special Solicitation (SS) Market/Channel/COS(s) will expire at the end of Round 2 on 13 March 2015 @ 1900 hrs CDT. The DOD is moving forward with its plans to continue transition of select TOPS INTL SS channels over to DPS INTL SS during the 2015 rate cycle.
2. As per the 2015 Rate Filing Notice, Advisory 15-0015 dated 18 Dec 2014, paragraph 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 DPS use 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)."
3. TSPs who do NOT file acceptable rates within DPS INTL SS channels and are NOT 100% accepted per INTL SS group will NOT be eligible for this transition volume in DPS. We encourage all DPS INTL TSPs to review the Intl Tender (IT), Chapter 10 for program guidelines and place competitive bids during Round 2 IAW Rate Filing User Guide-TSP Edition posted on the SDDC public website at www.sddc.army.mil/PP/default.aspx.
4. Please utilize the following HQ SDDC-PP email organizational boxes or phone numbers for questions regarding this message.
a. Rate Filing: firstname.lastname@example.org
b. International: email@example.com
This message is approved for release by Mr. Danny Martinez, Chief, Quality Assurance Division.
Fuel Surcharge for Period 2/15/15 to 3/14/15
The price of fuel was $2.83 per gallon as reported on Feb. 2, making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 2/15/15 through 3/14/15 as follows:
GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG – 3%
GSA Domestic HHG – $0.00
GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.00
NOTE – You are reading correct above. There is no fuel surcharge applicable for the specified period. The baseline rate that is used to calculate the fuel surcharge adjustment is $2.999. With the reported cost of fuel now below that baseline amount, a fuel adjustment does not apply.
** Editor’s Note: IAM’s Director of Government & Military Relations will participate in this meeting and hold a session related to current U.S. Government and Military issues. The recent announcement regarding the U.S. DOD plans to close it operations at RAF Mildenhall and consolidate many other European operations will be a key discussion item.
IAM is hosting a Regional Meeting in conjunction with the British Association of Removers (BAR) Annual Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 18-20, 2015. The Regional Meeting will include business sessions and networking opportunities for IAM members and the IAM Logistics Network (ILN). Space will be limited and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Response and space availability will determine the number of attendees.
Before You Register:
- Cost: The cost to attend the meeting is 520.00 GBP, which includes hotel accommodations for three nights (May 18, 29, and 20) and several meals over the course of three days.
- Accommodations: The conference hotel is Hotel Europa in Belfast. Note: Your registration fee includes accommodations and books you as a Hotel Europa guest.
- Meeting Agenda: Review the meeting agenda for the IAM/ILN meeting
- Meeting Packages: On the registration site, you will see a number of packages for the BAR event, the IAM/ILN event, for both BAR and IAM/ILN and other add-ons.
- Attendees: See a combined list of BAR and IAM/ILN attendees.
- Registration: Register for the Regional IAM / ILN Meeting, on the BAR conference page. Note that when you reach the "Registration Items" screen, scroll down to see the "Full Package for IAM/ILN Seminar" with the corresponding price of 520.00 GBP. Select this item, or one of the choices below it that include add-on BAR events for additional cost.
BAR Conference: The BAR Annual Conference runs from May 21-23, 2015. As always, there will be a varied program of events combining the very best entertainment, business, and opportunities for socializing. BAR is extending a warm invitation to all IAM members to attend so those traveling to Belfast can experience two premier industry conferences in one location
During the first week of January, IAM mailed membership renewal notifications to all billing contacts, encouraging you to renew your company's IAM memberships on time and online — the fastest and easiest way to take care of business. Thank you to those of you who have done so.
If this is the first time you've paid online, you must request your login credentials. Just go to the login screen and follow the instructions for "New Customer." IAM will then email your company's login credentials to the email account on record in our database.
To pay membership dues online, using your username and password, go to: the account login page. Once you log in, click on your name and this will take you to the self-service portion of the website. From there, click on “pay open membership invoices” and follow the prompts to renew online.
If you have forgotten or do not have your user name and password, you can retrieve your information.
If you need assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your support and are always here to assist you.