eGov/Mil Newsletter: Mar 14, 2014
Round 2 Delay Continues
As of today, March 14, 2014, SDDC has not issued a concrete timeline for the continuation of the 2014 DP3 rate filing process.
On February 20, after the issuance of the Round 1 rate rejections, anomalies in rejection notices were identified and SDDC suspended the rate filing until those issues could be resolved. SDDC, the DPS Program Office and the DPS contractor, CACI, continue to work toward a resolution of the issues.
SDDC issued the following Rate Filing update message on March 12:
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: DOD-Approved Personal Property Transportation Service Providers (TSP)
SUBJECT: Defense Personal Property System (DPS) Rate Filing Update #6
1. This advisory will provide a brief update on 2014 Rate Filing (RF) and the current status.
2. As of today, the 2014 DPS RF Round 2 remains on hold while we continue to analyze system functionality, validate RF data, and implement system changes needed to guarantee program and system standards. We understand this delay has impacted the RF Schedule and stakeholder timelines, so we ask for your continued support and patience as we work through the issue.
3. We will provide a 2014 RF Customer Advisory and updated timeline NLT Monday, 17 March 2014.
4. If you have any questions, please contact the PP Rates Team via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. This message is approved for release by CAPT Stanley, Director Personal Property, HQ SDDC.
IAM is hopeful that SDDC will issue a firm timeline for the resumption of the rate filing in the "Customer Advisory" they have indicated will be released on Monday, March 17.
We applaud SDDC for also issuing a rate filing update message to the Military Services and the Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSOs). It is critical that they not begin to award shipments for the May 15 Performance Period until the rate filing is completed and the new Traffic Distribution Lists (TDLs) have been prepared. The SDDC message to the military community reads as follows:
SDDC-PP Advisory 14-0035
DATE: 12 March 2014
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property
Shipping Offices (PPSO)
SUBJECT: Defense Personal Property System (DPS) 2014 Rates Update
- The availability of rates for the 2014 rate cycle has been delayed due to issues during Round 1 of Rate Filing. The identified issues affected TSPs receiving erroneous rejection notices/errors after Round 1.
- This delay will prevent any shipments or PPMs with pickup dates of 15 May 2014 and beyond from being awarded in DPS due to the TDL not being established for the 15May14-31Jul14 performance period. As soon as the Rate Filing is completed we will provide guidance as to when booking for Peak season can begin.
- If you have any questions, please contact the PP Rates Team via email at: email@example.com.
- This message is approved for release by CAPT Stanley, Director Personal Property, HQ SDDC.
It is the desire of ALL of the DP3 stakeholders that a firm rate filing timeline can be set and that the process can resume as quickly as possible so as to have as little effect on the 2014 Peak Season as possible.
Source: IAM & SDDC
Personal Property Forum Dates Set
The meeting will be held April 2, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights, IL from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
An industry-only pre-meeting will be held at the same facility on April 1 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
A room block for attendees has been established at the Four Points Sheraton. Ask for the "IAM/AMSA" room block.
The following is a link to the Four Points Sheraton which contains all of the hotel contact information:
Source: IAM & SDDC
As it has done the last few years, SDDC plans to offer a set of webinars to all of the DP3 stakeholders on a variety of subjects in March and April. SDDC issued the following message outlining the subjects they plan to cover and the dates and times for the webinars:
DATE: 05 March 2014
FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL
TO: Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property
Shipping Offices (PPSO), and Transportation Service Providers (TSP)
SUBJECT: 2014 DP3 Webinar Training
1. SDDC will be conducting live Defense Connect Online (DCO) training for PPSOs and TSPs. Two training sessions will be given per week for each topic. All training days will fall on Tuesdays at 1600 CST/1700 EST and Thursdays at 0800 CST/0900 EST, lasting for approximately 30-45 minutes.
2. Addressees will receive reminder messages the Thursday prior to each training week, with information on the topic and how to enter the training link through DCO.
3. Topic list and dates follow:
* Delivery Out of Destination SIT and the Top 10 Things PPSOs and TSPs Should Know, 18 & 20 March
Long delivery out of SIT training will assist PPSOs and TSPs how to properly execute deliveries out of destination SIT that require changes to the Government Bill of Lading Block 18 and/or Block 20. This informative Webinar will also provide beneficial tips on things PPSOs and TSPs should be aware of when managing DPS shipments.
* DPS Analytics, 25 & 27 March
This informative training session will show PPSOs and TSPs how to build simple queries using the DPS Analytics module. As time (and questions) dictate, users can learn how to build additional simple or ad hoc queries for specific data analysis requirements, as well as learn tips on building queries for viewing completed Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
* Inconvenience Claims, 08 & 10 April
How can a TSP minimize a customer's financial hardship when personal property shipments are not picked up or delivered as promised? Participating in this Webinar will refresh TSPs' knowledge on what constitutes an inconvenience claim, recognize "reasonable" out-of-pocket expenses, and walk through the entire inconvenience claims filing process.
* How to File a Loss/Damage Notification Report & Claim, 15 & 17 April
This session explains the process of filing a Notification of Loss/Damage Report and Claim in DPS, and addresses customer and TSP guidelines for claims notification, submission, negotiation, and final settlement. We will also provide information for MAC users and how they can utilize DPS by downloading Firefox and changing their default Web browsers.
* Mold Language, 22 & 24 April
New for 2014! This Webinar event addresses TSP and PPSO actions when mold is suspected or confirmed within a personal property shipment. Participants will learn about the reporting process, customer notification, PPSO and TSP quality assurance actions, cleaning versus salvage or disposal, and remediation for contaminated articles.
4. This message was approved for release by Ms. Jill Smith, Chief, Business Processes & Systems Integration Division, HQ SDDC.
Editor's Note: IAM encourages the membership to participate in the webinars and to take full advantage of this webinar series opportunity.
Source: SDDC & IAM
Army Must Shed Six BCTs to Meet Proposed Budget Cuts
Feb 28, 2014
The Pentagon's fiscal 2015 defense budget proposal will cost the Army another six combat units, shrinking the active force to 28 brigade combat teams by 2019.
Prior to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's Feb. 24 announcement, the Army was already on track to shrink to 490,000 soldiers. The force reduction will eliminate about a dozen BCTs, bringing the active force down to 32 BCTs by early 2016.
This latest round of budget cuts will force the Army to cut another four active BCTs as well as two combat aviation brigades, according to an Army official with knowledge of the plan.
The end strength announcement was part of the larger budget roll out that Congress still needs to sign off on before President Obama can approve it.
In addition to combat brigades, the Army would also have to cut up to 20,000 soldiers from combat support units, an Army source who asked to remain anonymous told Military.com.
The Army currently numbers just over 520,000 soldiers. Cutting the active force to a size of 440,000 to 450,000 would shrink the Army to the smallest it has been since before World War II.
Despite its reduced size, more than 10 years of war have made the Army effective at organizing potent force packages to respond to a wide range of battlefield challenges, the Army official said.
And with the war in Afghanistan drawing to a close, the Army is returning to a contingency-response mind-set.
"We are going to use a kind of a 2-2-2-1 contingency force, where you will have two armor BCTs, two Stryker BCTs, two infantry BCTs and an aviation brigade at the highest level of readiness," he said.
The Army's force reductions are a result of about $500 billion in a decade-long defense spending reduction mandated in the 2011 deficit-reduction legislation known as the Budget Control Act. Sequestration adds another $500 billion in automatic cuts.
Hagel warned that the Army would have to shrink to 420,000 soldiers if sequestration cuts are not rescinded by Congress.
The 2015 budget will also likely result in reserve forces being trimmed by about 30,000, including 20,000 from the Army National Guard and 10,000 from the Army Reserve by 2019. That would still leave more than a half million men and women, with 335,000 in the Guard and 195,000 in the Reserve component.
It's not a promising forecast, but it's not as bad as the massive drawdown the Army experienced at the end of the Cold War, said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Martz, military deputy for budget.
In fact, the current reduction in Army end strength is far more orderly now than in the 1990s, when the service was forced to shed hundreds of thousands of soldiers over several years, including 100,000 soldiers in one year alone.
"It really harmed our personnel system," he said during a conference on the defense budget Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by Credit Suisse and McAleese & Associates, a Sterling, Va.-based consulting group. "You kind of just had to let people go."
News from the Daycos Weblog - http://blog.daycos.com/
What Do You Really Need to Support Alaska Bunker?
The 2013 400NG introduced a few slight changes related to billing the bunker surcharge for domestic shipments traveling to and from Alaska. While it was clear from the 400NG how the bunker charge is to be calculated for Alaska shipments, it has been somewhat of a challenge to nail down how the documentation should look that supports the charge. The information that is required on the supporting documents appears to be fairly straightforward, until you take into consideration the various entities - TSP's, consolidators, and ocean carriers, that may be involved in transporting a shipment to or from Alaska, as well as the fact that the DOD HHG shipments may or may not be moving with various commodities.
SDDC has been working with the various parties involved in transporting Alaska shipments since well before the introduction of these changes. Throughout that time, there have been various formatting and informational changes made to the documentation that is being provided as support for the bunker charges being billed. SDDC has signed off on some of those changes, and to date, is still working with the ocean providers and consolidators to iron out varying details of what the supporting documentation should look like and contain.
We have been following the various documentation changes that have occurred since the tariff update last May and are using or requesting from our customers the most recent approved formats we are aware of. As additional changes may be made, we are working with the affected customers to make the necessary adjustments to previously invoiced and paid bunker charges when needed. We will continue to monitor and work with those involved to stay on top of the changes to support the bunker charges we are billing.
Sources: Daycos News - http://blog.daycos.com/
DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
Fuel Surcharge for Period 3/15/14 to 4/14/14
The price of fuel was $4.02 per gallon as reported on Monday, March 3, 2014 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 3/15/14 through 4/14/14 as follows:
GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG- 12%
GSA Domestic HHG - $1.01
GSA International HHG and BAG - $1.01
Financial statement data must be submitted in DPS within 150 calendar days of a TSP's fiscal year end date.
New Limits on Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment (PBP&E)
Synopsis: Redefines Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment (PBP&E) and limits the amount of PBP&E to a maximum net weight of 2,000 pounds with no authority to waive the limitation. The PBP&E weight allowance is in addition to the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) household goods (HHG) weight allowance for uniformed members and may be included as HHG for a civilian employee or transported separately as an 'administrative expense' incident to a PCS. Army proposed that a limitation be placed on this allowance as it is subject to abuse. The item contains a grandfather clause to allow anyone who transported more than 2,000 pounds PBP&E overseas prior to the change to return the same PBP&E amount to the CONUS. This change is effective for all Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders issued on or after 1 May 2014.This is a major change in the rules regarding "Pro Gear" for the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3). ALL industry participants should familiarize themselves with the new entitlement limits and be prepared to discuss these new limits, which become effective May 1, 2014, with the military members they will be servicing.
If the HHG or UB shipment weight is unobtainable by the normal methods, the weight is 7 lbs. per cubic foot for all shipments.
This new rule is documented in changes to the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR).
These changes are scheduled to appear in JFTR change 327, and JTR change 581, dated 1 March 2014.
Sources: IAM, SDDC & Daycos News - http://blog.daycos.com/
Pentagon Officials: We Need More Base Closures
Mar 13, 2014
Each military branch has excess capacity and needs another round of base realignment and closure, defense officials told a House panel Wednesday.
Appearing before the House Appropriations Committee's Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee, officials noted varying amounts of excess capacity on U.S. bases, and sought help.
"The bottom line is: We need another round of BRAC," said Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.
John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, said he knows the last round of BRAC, in 2005, left "a bad taste" in the mouths of many in Congress, but that this would be different. The key reason that one cost so much was that "we were willing to accept recommendations that did not save money," he said.
The 2005 round of BRAC was actually more like two concurrent rounds -- one for transformation and one for efficiency, Conger said.
Altogether, the BRAC cost about $35 billion, and $29 billion of that was for the transformation piece, which only resulted in about $1 billion in yearly savings, Conger said. The efficiency piece cost $6 billion and resulted in recurring savings of $3 billion each year, he said.
Now, the military is requesting just the "efficiency" piece, Conger said.
"We don't want to be wasting money on unneeded facilities," he said.
The Army has an average of 18 percent excess capacity at U.S. bases, according to a recent facility capacity analysis, and end-strength reductions will increase that excess capacity even more, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.
The Air Force does not have a recent capacity analysis, but had 24 percent excess capacity in 2004, Ferguson said. The last round of BRAC only helped with a very small portion of that extra space, and the Air Force has reduced active-duty end strength by nearly 8 percent since then, she said, so officials know there is plenty of excess that could be closed.
The Navy also doesn't have a recent analysis, but does know they have some excess capacity and supports a new round of BRAC, said Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment.
Still, members of the committee noted their displeasure with the 2005 BRAC process, and worried that the Pentagon is not budgeting enough for military construction in fiscal 2015.
The military construction request for fiscal 2015 is $6.6 billion, about 40 percent lower than the request for fiscal 2014.
"I haven't seen requests this low for a long, long time," said Rep. Sanford Bishop, D- Ga., the ranking member of the committee.
Conger, Ferguson, Hammack and McGinn said the smaller request is the result of efforts to meet the requirements of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013; they said the services are willing to take a risk in cutting facilities maintenance so they can use more funding to support warfighters.
But Rep. John Culberson, the Texas Republican who serves as the subcommittee's chairman, called the low number "shocking," and said he does not want troops and their families to be neglected.
"We love you and we want to help," he said, adding that the committee would try to find a way to fund maintenance and construction programs.
Source: Stars & Stripes