eGov/Mil Newsletter: May 7, 2015

May 07, 2015

In this Issue:

  • Code 2... Is it for Real This Time?
  • Problems with the Recent DPS Release 2.1 Surface
  • DoD Announces Army Reorganization, Inactivation Plans
  • Joint Chiefs to Get Overhaul as Obama Presidency Nears Final Approach
  • Restart Rider in Appropriations Bill Could Extend Suspension
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • GSA Considers Domestic Tariff Change

Code 2... Is it for Real This Time?

Editor’s Note: The following item was posted in the IAM Social Café on Apr. 30.

For the past three years the military services and their Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSO) have started out each summer saying that would be increasing the use of Code 2 (containerized domestic shipments) during the Peak Season. Each summer that promise has gone unfulfilled. During the last three summers the use of Code has been less than 2 percent of all of the domestic shipments that have been awarded.

That seems to have changed! For the first time, in an early Peak Season message issued by SDDC, the services (the Army & Marine Corps primarily) published criteria that was to be used to determine whether a shipment could be deemed "Code 2 worthy." The message said….

The following criteria should be utilized when determining if a domestic shipment should be booked Code 2 and applies to Army and USMC, although other Services may provide unique guidance:
1. Shipments estimated at 7,000 lbs. or less
2. Shipments without a direct delivery address at the time of booking
3. Shipments traveling long distances (for Army/USMC 800 miles or more).


It appears DOD is getting serious about Code 2. Early reports show that, though still relatively low, domestic Code 2 bookings are now over 5 percent of the total and seem to be increasing every week. Last week (April 27 – May 1) the domestic awards at Air Force and Army JPPSOs showed Code 2 bookings at well over 10 percent of the weekly awards.

We have seen that alternatives to normal domestic van service are on the rise in most HHG markets and it now looks like DOD is starting to catch up to the trend. In an environment of driver shortages and continued government regulation it just makes sense for DOD to fully utilize all of the tools available to them in order to move their personnel.

It will be interesting to see if the trend continues. It wasn't until right before the Peak Season bookings began that DOD signaled it planned to increase the use of Code 2. Many Transportation Service Providers were either caught off guard or thought that DOD was crying wolf once again. Are agents prepared? Are enough liftvans or other alternatives in place? Many questions remained unanswered but it appears that this time DOD is serious about utilizing Code 2 as a viable domestic alternative in 2015.

Source: IAM & SDDC

Problems with the Recent DPS Release 2.1 Surface

After praising the Defense Personal Property System Program Management Office (DPS PMO) for what was perceived as a successful upload of DPS Release 2.1.0 on Apr. 17, it appears the praise may have been a bit premature. A number of errors have surfaced that were at first believed to be latent issues but have been discovered to be related to the new release.

SDDC released the following message on May 6 which pinpoints some of the main issues associated with the release:

SDDC-PP Advisory 15-0086

Date: 6 May 2015

From: AMSSD-PP Scott AFB, IL 62225

To: All Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSOs), Personal Property Processing Offices (PPPOs) and Department of Defense (DoD) Approved Transportation Service Providers (TSPs)

Subject: Defense Personal Property System (DPS) Shipment Status Error Identified After DPS Release 2.1.0

1. On 17 April 2015, DPS Release 2.1.0 was installed and shipment status errors followed relating to the counseling module “submit button”. The release caused the counseling submit button to remain active (not gray out) after the application is submitted, thus leaving the request unlocked with a potential for the request being submitted multiple times.

2. If a PPPO/PPSO or customer goes back into the counseling module and clicks the submit button again, DPS will revert the current status of the associated shipment(s) to their previous status (e.g. shipment status is “Offer Accepted and Presurvey Pending” when the submit button is clicked the status changes back to “Reviewed by Counselor and Approved to go to Route/Book). This could allow the shipment to be rebooked with a second TSP.

3. On 26 May 2015, DPS Release 2.1.2 containing System Problem Request (SPR) 7412 (Shipment Status Error) will correct the problem. In the interim SDDC pulls a report daily from DPS analytics to identify shipments that have been assigned a GBL, but whose status is showing as not awarded. The report is provided to the SDDC System Response Center (SRC) to elevate to Tier 3 for a data fix.

4. JPPSOs should coordinate with their supported PPPOs to ensure booked shipments are not sent for route/award a second time. In addition PPPOs should advise newly counseled customers that they should avoid making any updates to their DPS record as any updates to the record will create the same error described above.

5. Please report technical issues that are related to this advisory directly to the SDDC System Response Center (SRC):

a. Email: usarmy.scott.sddc.mbx.g6-src-dps-hd@mail.mil

b. Telephone: Toll free (800) 462-2176 or commercial (618) 589-9445, select Option 5

c. Internet: https://www.sddc-srchelpme.com.

6. Email functional questions and concerns regarding this advisory to army.sddc.safb.ppops@mail.mil.

7. This message was approved for release by Mr. Daniel Martinez, Chief, Quality Assurance Division, HQ SDDC

Obviously this raises a number of concerns for the industry and does very little to enhance the industry’s confidence level that any future releases will be fully successful. It seems that every time a new release is added to DPS, unforeseen/unanticipated problems arise even though we have been told that the releases go through extensive testing in advance of their upload into DPS.

Other releases are expected this summer. Some of the releases are related solely to the DPS hardware but others are planned to add significant software functionality to the system. Past experiences with DPS releases should give all stakeholders an uneasy feeling. Should SDDC postpone these new releases until we are out of the peak season? IAM feels strongly that based on our past experiences with DPS the answer to that question is a resounding YES.

Sources: IAM & SDDC

DoD Announces Army Reorganization, Inactivation Plans

The Army will lose about 25 Germany-based Apache attack helicopters and a series of other choppers as part of an Army reorganization that will force the service to rely more on rotational forces to maintain much of its aviation firepower in Europe, according to a Pentagon announcement Wednesday.

In addition, the Ansbach-based 12th Combat Aviation Brigade will lose about 1,900 troops and 2,850 family members in moves that also will force the closure of two Defense Department schools in the area by the end of this school year — Illesheim and Rainbow Elementary, according to military and school officials.

Read the Full Story

Joint Chiefs to Get Overhaul as Obama Presidency Nears Final Approach

President Obama plans to overhaul the Joint Chiefs of Staff this year as he seeks to replace a handful of longtime members whose terms are coming to a close.

Obama on Tuesday nominated Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commandant of the Marine Corps, to succeed Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as chairman this fall. He also tapped Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, head of U.S. Transportation Command, to replace Navy Adm. James "Sandy" Winnefeld as vice chairman.

Read the Full Story

Restart Rider in Appropriations Bill Could Extend Suspension

A House appropriations bill unveiled this week contains a rider on the 34-hour restart that adds new requirements on the study Congress ordered last year, meaning suspension of the restart could be extended beyond September.

The rider says that before the 34-hour restart can be reinstated, the study must address whether the restart has safety benefits and whether it is better for drivers in terms of fatigue, health, longevity and work schedules.

Read the Full Story

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

Fuel Surcharge for Period 5/15/15 to 6/14/15

The price of fuel was $2.85 per gallon as reported on May 4, making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 5/15/15 through 6/14/15 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.

SDDC Booster Club Sponsors Golf Tournament

The SDDC Booster Club Spring Classic golf tournament will be held on May 20, 2015 at the Stonewall Golf Club in Fairview Heights, IL. The Club has asked IAM to let the industry know that there are still openings available and they would welcome industry participants.

Golfers can register for the tournament online.

For further information contact Lisa Fister at 618-444-7458 or email SDDC.BC.Golf@gmail.com

The cost for the event is $80 and it will begin with a shotgun start at 12:00 noon.

Sources:  IAM & SDDC  

GSA Considers Domestic Tariff Change

On Apr. 21 the General Services Administration (GSA) held a teleconference with the industry to discuss a recent initiative to consider making changes to the GSA Domestic Tariff, the GSA-01. The current schedule is to have an updated tariff in place before the fall rate filing in 2016.

The initiative will mostly like replace the current paper tariff with an electronic version similar to the military's 400-NG and the old 400-N commercial tariff. See the following set of slides for more information:

GSA is seeking feedback on what charges would be bundled into the base rate, and which accessorials would remain separately priced.

Comments can be sent to either Robyn Bennett – Robyn.Bennett@gsa.gov or Kim Chancellor – Kim.Chancellor@gsa.gov.

Sources:  IAM &GSA