eGov/Mil Newsletter: February 26, 2016
In this Issue:
- IAM Meets with SDDC
- 2016 DP3 Rate Filing Closes
- Channeling Concept Pilot Update
- Air Force Announces a Number of Peak Season Special Interest Items
- Navy Issues Dates for their “Household Goods Industry Days”
- DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
- US Admiral Says Okinawa Base Move Delayed 2 Years
- Congress Pushes Back on Army Plan to Cut Tens of Thousands of Troops
On Feb. 18, IAM President Terry Head, IAM Chairperson Peg Wilken, IAM Vice-Chair Tim Helenthal, and IAM Senior Vice President Chuck White met with Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) staff at their offices at Scott AFB. Present from SDDC was the full Personal Property Directorate leadership team: Lt. Col. Todd Jensen, SDDC Director of Personal Property; Danny Martinez, Personal Property Business Processes Division Chief; Jill Smith, Chief, Personal Property Systems Integration Division; David Jones; and Rose Lindsey.
IAM provided a very aggressive list of agenda items that included more than 20 topics. We understood it would be next to impossible to cover all of those items, as well as agenda items that Lt. Col. Jensen had asked to cover, but we wanted them to at least see the issues IAM is currently focused on.
We started with the U.S. Transportation Command’s (USTC) HHG Channeling Concept Pilot. That initiative had been put on hold a few months ago but coincidentally USTC issued a follow-up to their original Federal Register Notice (FRN) the day of our meeting with SDDC. Essentially the FRN that indicated USTC/SDDC would NOT be moving forward on the initiative. See the exact wording below. This is a huge win for the industry. IAM championed the fight against this initiative through its direct communication with USTC and SDDC leadership, congressional interaction and consultation with legal representation. Though it was a drawn-out process, our efforts proved successful. SDDC will now focus on moving DP3 and DPS to its planned full operating capability.
SUMMARY: The DoD is not proceeding with the proposed Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Household Goods Channeling Pilot Test, as set forth in the Sept. 8, 2015 notice.
We received an update on the 2016 rate filing. After a number of glitches and stops and starts to Round 2, the rate filing closed on Feb. 22. On Thursday there were still 14 TSPs with small issues that needed to be fixed but SDDC had reached out to them each individually and felt they could get them updated in time to finally close the rate filing on Feb. 22. TSPs should soon see SDDC messaging regarding when the new Traffic Distribution Lists (TDL) for the May 15 Performance Period will be available and when Peak Season shipment bookings will begin.
We also learned that SDDC has announced that MG Susan Davidson, Commander SDDC, will be leaving. She will be headed to Hawaii to take over as the Commanding General, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. No timeframe for the move has been announced and no replacement has yet been named.
Much of the early discussion focused on a number of 2016 Solicitation items that have raised a great deal of concern within industry:
- New re-weigh item (Item 505 in the IT-16) – Huge issues stem from this item; particularly as they relate to crated HHG shipments but also having significant consequences for domestic van shipments as well. We had already articulated the issue a number of times via email but once again laid out all of our concerns as they relate to the operational issues and the payment/cash flow ramifications. SDDC agreed to go back and review the wording again and I am very hopeful that we will see some revised language sometime before the May 15 implementation date. I also followed up with SDDC staff reiterating our position again the day following the meeting.
- Crating item (IT Item 508) – Once again we reviewed our concerns with these aspects of Item 508:
- The new restrictive guidelines for crate size, 3 inches on all sides for internal crates and 5 inches for external crates. We feel these are too restrictive, particularly for external crates.
- All crating/uncrating must be done at residence – we raised a number of operational issues that may prohibit the ability of these services being done at residence, e.g. crating a motorcycle at residence and then being able to load a huge, heavy crate onto a truck.
- Disallowing the crating “for items that can stand alone”. We asked how we should operationally handle items like 3-wheelers, ATVs, etc., that are not crated but must move in a Code 4 shipment. No concrete answers were provided.
- The following new language in the new IT is obviously incorrect and must be changed because it makes no sense: “Regardless of the actual crate size, TSP’s must bill either the actual cubic feet of the item, or the cubic feet limitation listed in Billing Note 5 above, whichever is less.”
- Members must keep crates for future use or crating may not be allowed for the same item in the future. Where do they keep it? What if they refuse? Should the TSP be held responsible/liable if a member no longer has the crate?
- Why are crated domestic shipments treated differently than international HHG shipments? Why is crating for the exact same items not allowed in the Code 2 program that are crated in the Code 4 arena? SDDC did indicate they would take a second look at this.
- Item 401 – IAM asked that this item, which had been found in the 400NG for several years be added to the IT. The problem is that it was added but the wording was amended without consultation with industry. The wording now indicates that:
TSP will not accept the following:
1) HHGs, which are jointly (Government and TSP) determined to be in a condition that makes it liable to impregnate, contaminate, or otherwise cause damage to other HHGs or equipment.
“Jointly” is the key word that has been added. We are concerned that TSPs will be forced to move items/shipments that have been contaminated, i.e. moldy, if the PPSO personnel do not agree and TSPs will be forced to move these items and accept liability. We have already addressed the issue with the Military Claims Offices (MCOs) and will be setting up future communications between all three parties (industry, MCOs & SDDC).
Refusals – A very long and drawn-out conversation took place regarding the possibility of reinstituting the ability for industry to refuse shipments during the Peak Season. SDDC believes that, at least for the 2016 Peak Season, no refusals will be allowed. Tim Helenthal in particular made a very strong case for the need to rethink this policy. He pointed to the loss of capacity for DOD, the addition of the SCR 6975 to DPS, the lack of the needed Blackout granularity (destination CONUS Blackout and greater OCONUS Blackout granularity) and other issues as reason for reinstituting refusals. Lt. Col. Jensen indicated that SDDC would continue to review the policy and its secondary and tertiary effects but at least for 2016 the lack of the ability to refuse shipments would remain in place.
Click counts/DPS Lockout-Suspensions – This has become a huge issue as more and more TSPs are having log-in/digital certificates locked out of DPS. This has happened for perceived over clicking in the short fuse queue but also in other modules as well. A recent event in January saw 5-6 TSPs have accounts locked out of DPS completely for over clicking in the invoicing module. SDDC indicated that the accounts were clicking as many as 350,000 – 500,000 times per hour. These are numbers that seem outrageous. The instances occurred on a Sunday when no personnel were in place at those TSPs. What possible reason could there be for over clicking to that degree in the invoicing module? At first SDDC & Transcom looked at this as a “denial of service” attack, i.e. hackers, going after the system to bring it down. They seem to be backing away from that theory.
But SDDC/Transcom continue to see this as an industry issue, either via a TSP webbot or some type of hacking of a TSP’s system from the outside. After consultation with a number of sources we believe this is an internal DPS/ETA issue and not an industry problem. We are hoping to engage the key stakeholders (SDDC, Transcom, DPS PMO, CACI and DISA) at another face to face meeting at Scott AFB in the near future. This seems to be oversight run amuck. The fingers always seem to point at industry and their webbots as the root of the problem. However, IAM feels that SDDC/Transcom need to look at its own systems for the answers to why these issues continue to occur.
We had hoped to get to other issues. We spent nearly three hours with the SDDC staffers but that was just not enough to get through our entire agenda. We will continue to dialog with SDDC on all of the other issues not covered during this meeting….and there are many, as most of you realize.
Now only time will tell how SDDC deals with our most pressing issues, particularly as they relate to the 2016 Solicitation items.
The second and final round of the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) rate filing closed on Feb. 22.
The final set of rate rejections were issued on Feb. 24.
The next step in the process will be the establishment of the Traffic Distribution Lists (TDL) for the May 15 through July 31 Performance Period, which coincides with the new 2016-2017 Annual Cycle, the beginning of Peak Season and the new filed rates.
SDDC believes that barring any unforeseen issues, the new TDLs will be loaded into the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) on Mar. 2 & 3 and available for review by TSPs on Mar. 4.
No shipments would be awarded during the period of the loading of the new TDLs and the review by TSPs (Mar. 2-4), as well as the weekend of Mar. 5-6.
Awarding of shipments for the Peak Season (shipments loading May 15 and after) is scheduled to begin on March 7.
SDDC plans to issue a number of periodic updates that will provide industry with a preview of the number of Peak Season shipments that are in the queue waiting to be awarded. The first message was issued Feb. 23 and shows that as of Feb. 22 there were 1,610 shipments available for award. That number will obviously increase between Feb. 22 and Mar. 7 but it appears that this number will be considerable lower than industry has seen in the past. That lower number is directly attributable to the earlier start to the 2016 rate filing and the much earlier start to the booking of Peak Season shipments.
A detailed file of the 1,610 available shipments is available for review on the IAM website.
Source: IAM & SDDC
The U.S. Transportation Command’s (USTC) will not be proceeding with their previously announced HHG Channeling Concept Pilot. The timeline for the initiative had been put on hold a few months ago but USTC issued a follow up to their original Federal Register Notice (FRN) on Feb. 18, essentially killing the Pilot, at least for now.
This is a huge win for the industry. IAM championed the fight against this initiative through its direct communication with USTC and SDDC leadership, congressional interaction and consultation with legal representation. Though it was a drawn-out process, our efforts proved successful. SDDC will now focus on moving DP3 and DPS to its planned FOC (Full Operating Capability).
The FRN summary states:
The DoD is not proceeding with the proposed Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Household Goods Channeling Pilot Test, as set forth in the September 8, 2015 notice.
Source: IAM, SDDC & USTC
On Feb. 23, the Air Force Personal Property Activity (AF PPA) provided IAM with a memorandum which they asked be distributed to the membership. The message focuses on the key “Special Interest Items” (SII) that the Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices (JPPSO) will focus on during the 2016 Peak Season.
The AF PPA oversees the CONUS Air Force JPPSOs and focuses on bringing about standardization of processes to all of the Air Force personal property offices.
TSPs and their agents should read the memorandum carefully and address all of these Special Interest Items immediately. It appears all of these items will be monitored carefully by the Air Force JPPSOs and punitive action may result if expectations are not met.
IAM has already been in contact with the AF PPA regarding a number of concerns with these Special Interest Items that have been raised by the IAM leadership
Source: IAM & AF PPA
The Naval Supply System Command’s (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support (GLS) Household Goods Office has announced the schedule for their 2016 Navy Household Goods Industry Days.
Navy has now received final approval for only the Mar. 1 meeting in Norfolk but believes that final approval for the other two meeting is not far behind. Mark these dates on your calendar and send in your registration forms.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
0800 – 1600
Doubletree by Hilton Norfolk Airport
1500 North Military Highway
Norfolk VA 23502
San Diego, CA
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
0800 – 1600
Anchors Catering & Conference Ctr
2375 Recreation Way/Yama St
San Diego CA 92136
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
0800 – 1600
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
620 Wells Rd
Orange Park, FL 32073
Source: IAM &Navy GLS
SDDC “What’s New”
This message applies only to Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) approved in GSA's Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP).
GSA will be holding two communication calls with the industry to review and clarify post-auditing issues.
Additional briefings of GSA's tariff restructure and re-certification process will be mentioned. However the main topic of this industry call is post-auditing.
TSPs may elect to attend one of the two sessions below:
Thursday, March 3: 1:30 - 3 PM (Central Time)
Monday, March 7: 10 - 11:30 AM (Central Time)
Because the number of attendees for each call is limited, it is required that any TSP wanting to participate on the call send a confirmation e-mail to: Kim.Chancellor@gsa.gov The information should include the number of people attending & the company name/SCAC.
Once the confirmation is received, Kim will follow-up with a pass-code and website to attend the on-line meeting, including an agenda.
If your firm is dealing with post auditing issues, please schedule to attend one of these two sessions.
GSA Supplemental Filing Window for the 2015 - 2016 CHAMP RFO to Open
Amendment 4 to the 2015 - 2016 CHAMP RFO dated August 26, 2015. Amendment 4 identifies a change to the Department of State's non-alternating, Agency Specific Code DOSDC.
As a reminder, the Supplemental Filing Window of the 2015-2016 CHAMP RFO opened on Feb. 1. All rate offers submitted in response to the Supplemental Filing Window are due by 10:00 PM Central Standard Time on Mar. 14.
Also find an updated Section 9, Local Agent List of the 2015 - 2016 CHAMP RFO dated Aug. 26, 2015.
Fuel Surcharge for Period 2/15/16 to 3/14/16
The price of fuel was $2.03 per gallon as reported on Monday, February 2, 2016 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 2/15/16 through 3/14/16 as follows:
GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG – 0%
GSA Domestic HHG – $0.00
GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.00
NOTE – There is no fuel surcharge applicable for the specified period.
Sources: IAM, Daycos, Navy & SDDC
US Admiral Says Okinawa Base Move Delayed 2 Years
The controversial relocation of a Marine Corps air station from densely populated central Okinawa to the island's northern recesses has been pushed back more than two years. Units from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan will now likely be relocated to Camp Schwab at Henoko in 2025 or later. Futenma had been slated for closure and reversion to Japanese control by 2023.
Congress Pushes Back on Army Plan to Cut Tens of Thousands of Troops
Senators on the Armed Services Committee said Thursday it was time to rethink the Army's planned drawdown amid growing threats abroad, including the Islamic State group and Russia. The senators' comments were followed later in the day by 12 House lawmakers filing a bill to block any manpower cuts.