Weekly GSA COVID-19 Impacts - Supplier Relocation Community
April 15, 2020
GSA Employee Relocation Resource Center (ERRC) held their weekly COVID-19 Impacts call on 13 April. Julie Blanford, the ERRC Director, hosted the call.
Highlights from the call include:
GSA relayed they have a “Frequently Asked Questions” area recently updated on their GSA Hallways website. This site will be continuously updated as issues and questions arise. It is for both suppliers and federal agencies.
In general, household goods moves are delayed for OCONUS moves, to include Hawaii and Puerto Rico. CONUS to CONUS moves still happening with some regularity.
Department of State put out an advisory suspending all PCS travel effective through 31 May. There will be exceptions to this policy. DOS says unless member can prove they have an exception, the travel will be canceled. TSPs were warned, just because the member tells the TSP they have an exception that is not good enough to continue with the move. Make sure notification of the exception comes directly from DOS.
GSA stated, outside of DOS, they hadn’t heard other agencies stopping all moves across the board. And generally, for those moves that are continuing, GSA is getting positive feedback from Agencies on the good, supportive, and creative work TSPs are doing to get the member moved.
GSA participated in a MARAD call to discuss US Flag vessel use. RORO carrier volume has dropped substantially, and the carriers were asking MARAD to redouble their efforts to ensure the use of US Flag ships. GSA relayed their concerns on delayed shipments, shortage of containers, consolidation issues; and that they were looking for better guidance on how to operate in this environment while continuing to keep transferees moving. GSA made the point to MARAD that having customers wait additional time, and delay their movement can create safety concerns if they have to wait too long for US Flag service. In situations where you know there is only one sailing every 90 days, then options are needed to keep things moving. Looking for some consistency to tell the Agencies where to draw the line on use of US Flag, instead of giving lip service to agencies and TSPs.
GSA and DoD are having conversations in attempt to remain aware and stay as consistent as possible for TSPs in terms of requirements due to COVID-19. Things like face coverings, use of gloves, things the TSP can ask the transferee. There will be some differences, but they are having conversations to stay linked.
GSA repeated that they are allowing partial billing, but it’s up to the individual agencies on how it is structured. So TSPs must work with the agencies to ensure the agency is on board with what you are trying to bill.
Effective 1 April, GSA Post Audit contract was awarded to a single contractor. The new contractor now audits all modes.