eGov/Mil Newsletter: April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016

In this Issue:

  • DPS Problems Continue to Plague the Industry
  • SDDC - Secretary of State Requirements
  • SDDC Initiatives
  • Army Needs 220K More Soldiers to Deal with Major Foes: Milley
  • Pentagon says 22 percent of military bases will be excess by 2019
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • House Proposal Would Reverse Planned Army Troop Cuts
  • 2.1% Pay Raise, More Troops, Commissary Changes in Draft Defense Bill
  • The 15 Emotions of PCSing

DPS Problems Continue to Plague the Industry

The industry has experienced significant issues accessing the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) since a Siebel commercial off the shelf (COTS) upgrade in the DPS 3.1.0 release was deployed on March 11.

The COTS upgrade provided significant changes to the DPS user interface. It also forced DPS users to upgrade to newer versions of a number of web browsers that had previously been incompatible with DPS. These changes had not been communicated to industry in advance of the upgrade so this caused a great deal of confusion and consternation for industry users immediately following the release.

On top of those changes, immediately following the upgrade, industry users could not access DPS at all for almost a week. Then for the following three weeks access was intermittent at best.

In total almost a month passed with the industry experiencing limited access to DPS. When they were able to access the system they experienced issues with, among other things, printing GBLs, accessing the preapproval screens, inability to process claims, etc.

Finally after a full system reboot on April 12 DPS started to return to full capability. Some industry users continued to experience issues with access but normally after multiple attempts they were able to gain access to the system and operate at or close to normal levels.

This has been an ugly experience for the industry. For almost one month many aspects of DPS and the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) came to a screeching halt for the industry participants. What made it even worse was the fact that the Personal Property shipping Offices and military transferees did NOT experience the issues with DPS to nearly the same level, if at all, that the industry experienced. This differential in DPS access was not well communicated to the other stakeholders and that, in and of itself, caused another level of problems for the industry.

IAM has pushed the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and the DPS Program Management Office to open better lines of communication between their offices and all of the DP3 stakeholders. Communication is critical during DPS outages and it was sorely lacking early on during this particular outage.

Unfortunately DPS outages and access issues have become all too common in the last five to six months. Significant outages were experienced in December 2015, January 2016 and again for the last month. DPS needs to be a stable platform in order for DP3 stakeholders to complete their mission. One can only imagine what a Peak Season will look like if these issues are not rectified quickly.

IAM plans to open a dialog with the highest levels of U.S. Transportation Command and SDDC to ensure that senior leadership has visibility on this issue. 

Source: IAM, SDDC, DPS PMO

SDDC - Secretary of State Requirements

IAM has received numerous inquiries regarding the advisories issued by SDDC on Friday April 15 referencing a “Secretary of State review” of all TSP's operating in the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3). SDDC believes that each state has a “Secretary of State” or some equivalent organization that businesses must register with. There may also be some taxes or fees associated with this registration process and those must be up to date. Some may require annual updates and have an ongoing fee structure.  

It appears that, after SDDC began a review, a significant number of TSPs are not in compliance with these requirements.

If you received Friday’s messages it does not necessarily mean that your organization is not in compliance. SDDC sent the messages out to all TSPs.

Based on discussions with SDDC staff there two major items they are focused on.  They are reviewing each Secretary of State’s website to ensure that TSPs are in proper compliance with all of the state’s requirements and also comparing the address information contained on those sites to the address information that is located in the ETOSS for each SCAC. Please ensure that the addresses match up. If ETOSS changes are necessary we recommend contacting Jerry Jordan at SDDC for advise on this process before making any changes.

To verify whether you are in compliance there are a few steps that need to be taken. First, verify that the address listed in the ETOSS in DPS for each SCAC is the proper address in the state in which you are domiciled. Second, you must verify that the company is registered with the respective Secretary of State office and that the address matches what is the ETOSS. 

The following is a website that can be used to help in researching whether your organization is compliant or not - www.secstates.com. On this website you can find the respective state and after clicking on your state there is a link taking you directly to the Secretary of State (or equivalent in your state) website. There you can check whether or not the TSP is in an active status for that state. On most of the websites there is information on how to register an organization and what is required to maintain an active status. Each state is different so that information should be researched by state.

For those that have issues with the registration and might not make the May 1 deadline, contact SDDC by phone or email as soon as possible: army.sddc.safb.ppqual@mail.mil or contact 618-220-5775 or 220-6789. TSPs are also encouraged to contact SDDC if there are any unique situations affecting your registration as well.

Don’t wait. Check your status and ensure you are compliant.

Source: IAM, SDDC

SDDC Initiatives

A number of items have come to the attention of IAM that appear to be on SDDC’s radar. Some of these issues are not new and have been talked about for some time. However, they now appear to have moved closer to the top of SDDC’s list of key agenda items.

1)      Open Season – SDDC is reviewing the possibility of holding an Open Season in 2017. No formal plan is currently in place. SDDC will soon be seeking input from industry on what a 2017 timeline for an Open Season should look like and the criteria by which applicants should be judged for entry into the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3).

2)      Qualifications Document (PAM 55-4) – It appears that a new PAM 55-4 is the offing. We have been told that it should not contain any major changes. We have been told that a number of controversial updates that were proposed earlier, i.e., “a SCAC is not considered an asset”, have been removed from this new iteration of the 55-4. This current edition is currently under review at the highest levels of SDDC.

3)      International Tender – Item 221c – this is an item that has been in the International Tender for quite some time but seems to have never been enforced. SDDC in conjunction with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is in the process of reviewing this item in particular and is also auditing DOD shipments to ensure proper compliance of US Flag requirements.

IAM is encouraging ALL TSPs to review the Item 221c requirements and to ensure that they are properly following the US Flag/Cargo Preference requirements!

4)      Phase III NTS requirements – It appears that SDDC is steadily moving closer to the implementation of the Non-Temporary Storage (NTS) in DPS. The current timeline calls for implementation in late FY2017. SDDC is starting to review the Phase III NTS rules and the process of writing the final requirements for the DPS contractor will soon begin. IAM encourages all of our members involved in the NTS program to once again review the rules – Phase III NTS Business Rules.

This may be the last opportunity to raise any issues or concerns to SDDC before the requirements are written and hard coded into DPS.

Source: IAM, SDDC

Army Needs 220K More Soldiers to Deal with Major Foes: Milley

The U.S. Army's chief of staff told lawmakers Thursday that the service would need another 220,000 soldiers before it could confidently handle major operations with emerging military foes around the world. Gen. Mark Milley told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Army is operating at "high military risk" if it continues to operate at the proposed total Army troop strength of 980,000 soldiers.

Read the Full Story

Pentagon says 22 percent of military bases will be excess by 2019

More than 20 percent of the Defense Department’s bases will be considered excess by 2019, according to a Pentagon report to Congress made public Friday. The report, which was accompanied by a letter from Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, is meant to convince Congress of the need for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) authorization, a politically unpopular process to close installations.

Read the Full Story

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

SDDC “What’s New”

IT-15 Change 3 – Posted 4/20/16 with effective date of 4/1/16

Key Changes:

- Replaced the term “initial pickup” to “actual pickup” throughout

- Regionalization’s: Effective 01 April 2016 (BGNC to CNNQ, BKMT to CNNQ, HOAT to JEAT, and QIMS to QENQ)

Regionalization Update from the Army

Fort Hood will remain separate a separate entity as Regionalization moves forward. It will become an Army CPPSO (Consolidated Personal Property Shipping Office) and will take over the back office function for Fort Bliss, TX which will convert to a PPPO.

The PPSO conversion process just started and will not become effective in DPS or TOPS (DPM/NTS) until a target date of 1 April 2017.

Fuel Surcharge for Period 4/15/16 to 5/14/16

The price of fuel was $2.12 per gallon as reported on Monday, April 4, 2016 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 4/15/16 through 5/14/16 as follows:

GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG – 0%
GSA Domestic HHG – $0.00
GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.00

There is NO fuel surcharge applicable for the specified period.

IAM Military News and Resources Page

The IAM Military News and Resources page provides military-based information in an easy-to-navigate tabbed format. In addition, IAM is linking to SDDC Personal Property updates and categorizing them by topic. Currently, on the SDDC website, these updates are hard to find and are organized chronologically – not a very user-friendly way to display information. This new system on the IAM site should make it easy for IAM members to easily find the important information they need. Contact Carl Weaver with questions.

Sources:  IAM, & Daycos

House Proposal Would Reverse Planned Army Troop Cuts

Planned Army troop cuts would be reversed under a measure that has the backing of the House Armed Services Committee. U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said the committee-backed plan would also block a Pentagon proposal to close military bases, boost space spending and halt proposed cuts to missile defense programs.

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2.1% Pay Raise, More Troops, Commissary Changes in Draft Defense Bill

Troops would receive a 2.1 percent pay raise in 2017 under a plan released by House lawmakers this week. The draft legislation from the House Armed Services Committee's Personnel Subcommittee was among the first to be released as part of the process to amend, or mark-up, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the year beginning Oct. 1.

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The 15 Emotions of PCSing

There you are, just minding your own business, perhaps reading a book or unloading the dishwasher, or looking at next semester’s college schedule, when it happens. IT HAPPENS. Your service member walks in the door, meets your eyes, and before they even open their mouth, you know what they’re going to say.

“Honey, I got orders.”

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