eGov/Mil Newsletter: October 7, 2016

October 07, 2016

In this Issue:

  • U.S. Bank Fee Increase Update #2
  • Historical Shipment Data Posted
  • DP3 Deep Dive Review
  • Carter Describes Security Challenges, Budget Issues at Senate Panel Hearing
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • IAM Military News and Resources Page
  • Budget deal avoids government shutdown, finalizes next year's VA budget
  • Congress again forgoes hours of service fix in latest appropriations bill
  • Next Phase of Pacific Rebalance Focuses on Cyber, Interoperability

U.S. Bank Fee Increase Update #2

The following item was included two weeks ago in the last eGov/Mil newsletter.

We are now past the Oct. 1 implementation date and IAM members are already starting to feel the sting of the U.S. Bank Freight Payment System/Syncada transaction fee increase.

IAM has communicated very clearly that we believe that a pass-through charge to the government, tied to this fee increase, is warranted and should be granted by U.S. Transportation Command (USTC), which is the holder of the Third Party Payment System (TPPS) contract with U.S. Bank. We still have had no written response from USTC in response to the association’s request.

We believe their silence speaks volumes. At this point, we believe that USTRANSCOM is not going to grant our request. They may be waiting to respond formally because they are also forced to respond to at least five congressional inquiries on the matter that were initiated by IAM.

At this point IAM continues to push on the issue from a number of different angles. We are continuing efforts on Capitol Hill to gain support from numerous key offices to raise questions that will apply pressure to USTRANSCOM to address our issues. We also hope to use our congressional contacts to raise questions regarding the fairness of U.S. Bank choosing to increase their fees by 33 percent, as well as their choice on the timing for the implementation of the fee increase.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, we have requested a copy of the current U.S. Bank-USTRANSCOM Third Party Payment System (TPPS) contract. This contract may hold the key to fully understanding the role that both USTRANSCOM and U.S. Bank have played in the determination to increase the transaction fee and the timing of the increase.

Finally, is the legal side of this problem. Any legal action against the U.S. government should be looked at as a last resort. Ultimately they are our customer and no one would want to engage in such actions against their own customer. However, it is one course of action that IAM continues to explore. That is a long process with a number of intermediate steps that need to occur, but we are determining all of our options.

Original Message from Sept. 22:

The U.S. Bank’s Freight Payment System/Syncada which is used for processing most U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) transportation invoices is set to have their transaction fee increase from the current 1.0% level to 1.33% beginning October 1, 2016. The 33% fee increase was announced by U.S. Bank in July, 2016 well after Transportation Service Providers (TSP) in the DOD household goods arena had filed their rates for the 2016-2017 Annual Cycle.

TSPs will have no way to incorporate this increase in their rates for 7 ½ months. Due to that fact, IAM immediately requested that the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) approve a pass through charge to account for the 33% fee increase until such time that TSPs can account for the increase in their rates.

SDDC is the DOD agency that manages the military’s household goods moving program but the DOD agency that administers the government contract with U.S. Bank and is the true decision maker on the approval of a pass through is US Transportation Command (USTC). IAM has turned its focus to USTC regarding the approval of a pass through charge.

As of September 22 USTC and SDDC have remained silent regarding their stance on possibility of allowing the pass through. However, IAM has not remained silent.

IAM is using a multi-pronged approached in our attempts to move USTC towards approval. We have engaged through direct communication with all of the decision makers, we have garnered support at the congressional level and we have also entered into discussions with our legal representatives to determine what tack we will take if approval of a pass through charge is not granted.

We calculate this increase may mean as much as $4,500,000 in additional fees to the HHG industry before these excess cost can be incorporated into our rates. IAM believes it is unconscionable that DOD would expect the industry to absorb this very significant fee increase and will do everything in our power to ensure DOD comes to agree with our position.

Source: IAM

Historical Shipment Data Posted

The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) has recently posted the historical shipment data for all markets for the fourth Performance Period of 2015 through the 3rd Performance Period of 2016. This is the key data set of shipments that have moved in the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) in the previous 12 months. Most TSPs use this date to assist them in their rate determination process.

The Historical Shipment Data can currently be found on the SDDC website in the “What’s New” section on the Personal Property homepage.

Source: IAM & SDDC

DP3 Deep Dive Review

In the past couple of months there have been references made by the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s (SDDC) Personal Property Directorate concerning a Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) “Deep Dive” review. Until recently, our industry hadn't been given any indication what that entailed, but LTC Todd Jensen changed that with a presentation on the process at the recently held Peak Season “Hotwash”. This review was jointly directed by the U.S. Transportation Command Commander and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to answer the following problem statement:

    "The DoD's end-to-end household goods value chain lacks the unity of effort and alignment required to consistently produce high quality relocation services for Service Members and their Families.

    (1). ACCOUNTABILITY. No single agency or commander possesses the required responsibility, authority, and influence over resources to optimize end to end HHG synchronization to ensure SM and Families consistently receive high quality service. (note: as a result, DP3 is driven by non-standard and complex cross functional policies, business rules, organizational relationships, and systems that do not optimize Service Member PCS outcomes).

    (2). FAMILY RELOCATION. DP3 management is not integrated within holistic HR efforts to relocate Service Members and their Families.

    (3). ENTITLEMENTS. DoD policy is complicated and wide variances in entitlements exist between Services creating perceptions that parts of the Joint Force are treated better, and complicating IT development and driving DPS program costs higher.

    (4). AUTOMATION. DPS is often difficult to use without explicit instructions and support from the help desk and/or installation transportation office."

To answer these questions and to improve the DP3 program, a cross-service/cross-functional planning team has been created to propose a range of Courses of Action (COA) to senior leaders that target specific DP3 areas of opportunity in order to improve the PCS experience for service members, civilians and families. These teams have been broken into four groups: Program Accountability, Family Relocation Experience, Entitlements & Standardization, and Automation. Each team is made up of logistics, personnel and finance experts from each of the services.

This DP3 review has an aggressive timeline for developing and refining COAs for implementation by Feb. 2017. LTC Jensen stated that the initial review is directed at internal processes within the government at this time. The moving associations have requested to be part of the process at any point when an item is identified that may have impact on industry participation in DP3. LTC Jensen has assured IAM and AMSA of our inclusion in these discussions as warranted and will provide updates as they become available.

Source: AMSA, IAM & SDDC

Carter Describes Security Challenges, Budget Issues at Senate Panel Hearing

With just eight days remaining before the end of the fiscal year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter implored the Senate Armed Services Committee to pass the fiscal year 2017 defense budget request. Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared before the committee to testify on national security challenges and ongoing military operations.

Read the Full Story

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

Closure Notice from JPPSO-North Central for 10/7/16

WHO:   JPPSO-North Central, Colorado Springs, CO

WHAT:  Closed @ 10:30 MDT

WHY: Unit Function

WHEN:  Friday, Oct 7, 2016

TIME:  1030-1730 Mountain Daylight Time (Closed)

 

JOHN E. HOSLEY, DAFC

Deputy Director JPPSO-Colorado Springs

Fuel Surcharge for Period 10/15/16 to 11/14/16

The price of fuel was $2.39 per gallon as reported on Monday, October 3, 2016 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 10/15/16 through 11/14/16 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.

Navy Paperwork

There have been some issues with the proper way to send billing documents to the Navy JPPSOs. The following information was sent to IAM from MLNQ (JPPSO-HI) regarding billing paperwork:

Supporting documents for the shipments servicing the MLNQ area inbound and outbound, should be sent to the Navy_HHG_Doc@navy.mil  e-mail account, please ensure that each e-mail ONLY contains the supporting documents for one shipment, subject line should include the GBL Number and member's name.

If we dispute an item, then the instructions are on the dispute note that states to send it to:  JPPSO_PH_VENDOR@navy.mil directly.

It was also noted regarding billing for Bunker Fuel Surcharge:

We also perform 100% checks on all Bunker Surcharges and request Ocean Bill of Ladings for all BSC.  It would help if all TSPs forward the Ocean Bill of Ladings for our outbound shipments prior to billing the BSC. 

Source: Navy

Proper Customs Forms for Inbound Motorcycles in DOD Shipments

It has come to IAMs attention that there has been an increase in the number of “custom holds” placed on DOD shipments containing motorcycles due to submission of out-of-date forms. 

The current forms (revised in 2014) vary little from the older versions, but US Customs is demanding that the most current forms be used. The fear is that these old forms are being provided to Service Members from “old stock.”

Please be sure you are using the most current forms and destroy all of the older forms in your stock.

GSA Extends 2015 -2016 Rates

The Government Services Administration (GSA) Employee Relocation Resource Center sent the following announcement on September 7 to all CHAMP providers indicating that they planned to extend the current 2015 – 2016 rates for 45 days.

As provided for under Section 2-11, Extension of Offer by the Government, of the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program’s (CHAMP’s) 2015–2016 Request for Offers (RFO) dated August 26, 2015, the Employee Relocation Resource Center (ERRC) is extending the expiration date of all rate offers currently in effect under the 2015–2016 RFO by 45 days.  As a result, rate offers that were due to expire on October 31, 2016 will now be extended through December 15, 2016. 

The 2016–2017 RFO and GSA’s Domestic 500A (GSA500A) Tariff will be distributed during the week of September 12, 2016.  Rate offers accepted under that RFO will become effective December 16, 2016 and the GSA500A will also have an effective date of December 16, 2016.

If  you have any questions, please contact Robyn Bennett at robyn.bennett@gsa.gov, (816) 823-3644, or Kim Chancellor at kim.chancellor@gsa.gov(816) 823-3650.

Source: GSA

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, & SDDC

Budget deal avoids government shutdown, finalizes next year's VA budget

Congress averted a government shutdown with a rushed budget deal that also settles the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction budget for all of fiscal 2017.

Read the Full Story

Congress again forgoes hours of service fix in latest appropriations bill

Both chambers of Congress on Wednesday passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 9. The stopgap spending law wards off a government shutdown, but the bill — dubbed a “clean continuing resolution” from its onset — did not include a provision to clarify the future of hours of service rules pertaining to truckers’ use of a 34-hour restart.

Read the Full Story

Next Phase of Pacific Rebalance Focuses on Cyber, Interoperability

The US will seek to “sharpen our military edge” in the Pacific even as it hopes China will improve relations with its neighbors, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said today. As a result, Carter today announced what he described as a “third wave” of the Obama administration’s rebalance to the Pacific, commonly referred to as the “Pacific Pivot.”

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