eGov/Mil Newsletter: August 23, 2019
In this Issue:
- USTC’s Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) Request for Proposal (RFP) Release Delayed
- IAM Meets with Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD) for Sustainment and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) re: Global HHG Contract
- 2019 Refusals Inputs for After Action Review (AAR)
- Refusal End Date 31 August for the 2019 Peak Season
- USTRANSCOM Weekly Peak Season Teleconference (22 Aug)
- USTRANSCOM Weekly Peak Season Teleconference (15 Aug)
Like many of you, IAM was waiting for USTC to issue the RFP for the GHC on 19 August as advertised in the latest USTC GHC milestones provided via the FBO.GOV website on 7 August. The expected release date came and went with no word from USTC. IAM attempted via contacts at USTC to get information on when the RFP would be released, the source of the delay, and whether it impacts the Pre-Proposal Conference that USTC had set for 28 August. No response to our inquiries was ever received.
Finally, on Thursday August 22, USTRANSCOM issued the following communication via the FBO website:
This notice serves to acknowledge USTRANSCOM is behind schedule in releasing the Global Household Goods (GHC) RFP, previously planned to be on/about 19 Aug 19. USTRANSCOM anticipates this delay will be short-term and will advise when an update is available. Additionally, due to the delay in RFP release, the pre-proposal conference scheduled for 28 August 19 is cancelled. The pre-proposal conference will be rescheduled at the time of the future release date of the RFP; likely to be scheduled 2-3 weeks after release of the final RFP.
Thank you for your continued interest in delivering a quality relocation experience to DoD Service Members, civilians, U.S Coast Guard members, and their families. Please contact Lynda Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org), who replaced Amy Miller as the GHC Contracting Officer, with any questions.
At this point is unclear just how long this “short-term” delay in the release of the RFP will be and when the pre-proposal conference will be held. IAM will continue its efforts to try and pinpoint the new timeline for issuance of this critical document and the dates for the pre-proposal conference. We will communicate any new information with the membership as soon as it is received.
IAM Meets with Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OASD) for Sustainment and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) re: Global HHG Contract
IAM received invitations for visits with both the GAO and OASD Sustainment to discuss the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC).
First, the GAO visit. Chuck and I met with GAO in their office on 20 August. The meeting lasted for 1.5 hours, and GAO had two auditors in the room with us, and two more who dialed in remotely.
The meeting was very cordial. The auditors appeared interested in what we had to say, our perspective on the current program, the make-up of the industry as a whole, and our thoughts on the proposed GHC. GAO asked about how the GHC, as currently designed, might impact the moving industry. They were interested in any other like contracts in HHG that we were aware of, and differences between DP3 and GHC and the impact of those differences.
We described to them the various elements within industry that are players in DP3, and how GHC, as currently written, didn’t specifically address the reasons USTC gave for moving to a FAR contract…specifically, increased capacity, improved quality, and reduced claims. We described how it appeared to us, especially during the transition phase of the contract…and any future re-compete for the contract, the opposite seemed likely. We explained the impact of this contract to small businesses, and international forwarders. And that even medium or larger TSPs who do good work could be negatively impacted by a single contractor framework. GAO was open to our comments, asked follow up questions, and asked if we’d be interested in them following up with us in the future, if needed. Overall it appeared to be a very good meeting.
Two weeks ago, IAM received an unexpected invitation to meet face to face with the HON Robert McMahon, OASD-Sustainment, at his office in the Pentagon. Mr. McMahon was primarily interested in what it would take to “get IAM to yes” with regard to the GHC. He discussed what he saw were weaknesses in the current program, and that when a two-star general (Mr. McMahon is a retired AF 2-Star whose former position was as the Air Force A4 [top logistician]) doesn’t get professionals to move his HHG, he said, “imagine what happens to the young private or Airman.” IAM offered perspective on some of his issues/concerns, and countered some of his assertions. We discussed how “quiet” this year has been so far, and why that might be. I discussed the impact of the ‘peak of the peak’ season and how DOD creates many of the issues he described by placing an unrealistic demand against industry for an extremely short period of time.
There were many exchanges back and forth, but ultimately, the meeting ended with Mr. McMahon again asking what it would take to get the industry behind the GHC? IAM’s Executive Committee discussed this topic in Chicago last week, in detail.
2019 Refusals Inputs for After Action Review (AAR)
No later than 28 August, USTRANSCOM (TCJ4-H) is requesting the PPSOs, Services, and TSPs provide feedback on the implementation of shipment refusals this peak season. The information your office provides will be used to assess the refusals process and help make a determination on its future use. USTC also included a Comment Resolution Matrix for Refusals Feedback.
Refusal End Date 31 August for the 2019 Peak Season
This message is a reminder that per the Refusal CONOPS issued on 26 April 2019 (Advisory 19-0057) shipments with pickup dates beyond 31 August are not eligible for refusal without punitive action. TSPs must review offered shipment dates to ensure the requested pickup date does not fall outside of the specified dates. Effective immediately, PPSOs should monitor queues to ensure that shipments with pickup dates beyond 31 Aug 19 are not refused. If TSPs refuse shipments with pickup dates 1 Sept 19 and forward, PPSO will take the appropriate punitive action.
During this peak season call, the associated slides were covered without note of any major issues. What was discussed in more detail is that USTC will formerly ask the PPSOs for data and details on their experience with the refusal process.
Significant items discussed in further detail below include:
- Potential change in distribution methodology for Code J shipments
- End of refusals for this season is essentially at hand
- Industry inputs on refusal policy this summer are needed
- Industry inputs on Code 2 and whether it can be expanded further
A significant discussion topic was the JPPSO struggle to move Code J. USTC mentioned they will likely attempt to bundle some of the hard to service Code J lanes for a Special Solicitation, and create a winner take all shipment award methodology. As an industry, we need to be prepared to provide USTC with pros and cons of this initiative so we can influence the outcome of this policy change in a way that gives it the best chance for success. We need to be prepared to discuss this potential change at the PPF.
USTC mentioned that other than a short fuse shipment, there should be no new shipments offered that are eligible for refusals. All shipments other than short fuse will have at least a September pick up date. TSPs should be aware the use of refusals is essentially at its end.
Industry needs to start collecting data on whether the refusal process helped your capacity this peak season, and your overall experience with refusals. USTC will also want industry information on Code 2 and whether there will be an impact to industry if the 12% goal is increased for next season.
Source: USTC; IAM
There weren’t significant comments associated with the 15 August slides, but other items were covered after slide review was completed.
- Biggest reminder coming out of the call was that JPPSOs were starting to see refusals on shipments that are being picked up in September and after. The JPPSOs commented that they were initially lenient on this since they understood TSPs could still refuse shipments picking up until the end of August, but they were now going to start taking punitive actions. You can only refuse shipments picking up in August. Please make sure your staffs understand.
- USTC reminded all on the call that the main session of the PPF was 18 Sep. IAM and AMSA will have a pre-PPF meeting on 17 Sep starting at 4:30 Central Time at the same location as the PPF (Four Points Sheraton). USTC is getting ready to put out invites for the PPF Hotwash on the morning of the 19th. There is currently no new update on invites.
- They are also going to start putting out select invitations to a Personal Property Executive Working Group. This Executive working group will be hosted by the USTC Deputy Commander, Vice Admiral Dee Mewbourne. More details will hopefully follow on the make-up and goals of this working group. USTC is deciding who will participate in this group.
- There was much discussion and frustration from the JPPSOs on refusals. This will definitely be a topic of discussion at the PPF. The JPPSOs and their Service HQs representatives are putting pressure on USTC to not have refusals next peak season. It doesn’t appear likely it will be an option next year based on the repeated calls from the JPPSOs to end it.
- There was also much frustration and discussion from the JPPSOs on not being able to book Code J (and Code 4). JPPSO-NC stated they are seeing a lot more “no capacity” at this time of year than they ever have. They are looking for answers as to why. JPPSO-NC also voiced frustration because they say they can often get a shipment moved if they do the manual work themselves of calling Agents to get the shipment picked up. They stated they believe TSPs aren’t paying attention to the system to work these shipments. Comments were made by industry again about rate rejections, minimum weights, and lack of agents in some locations.
- USTC is interested in Code 2 feedback from industry. Did it work well this summer? What were the issues/constraints? Could industry handle more? The Army continues to push USTC to expand the usage of Code 2. We need your thoughts on the ability to absorb more Code 2 in the future and in the non-peak.
- JPPSO-NE voiced their frustration with the ability to get baggage shipments worked in the Northeast (Maine, Vermont). And that with the lack of agents in this area, people are not willing to send crews out there, put them up in a hotel and pay for the transportation. He called for USTC to help come up with solutions to relieve that problem.
- Army Sustainment Command raised an issue with shipments containing firearms destined for Germany, but being routed through Belgium, and having the firearms confiscated by Belgium, and the service member getting in trouble; even though they were authorized to ship the firearm with their HHG to Germany. USTC is looking into it.
Weekly peak season calls are almost over.
Source: USTC/ IAM