By Donna Bowden (SMDC/ARSTRAT G-8 office)September 25, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act required the Department of Defense to create and maintain a compliance program to minimize inaccurate, or duplicate travel claims. Defense Travel Management Office has launched the Travel Policy Compliance Tool in an effort to identify Defense Travel System, or DTS, errors.
The automated tool reviews all DTS travel vouchers in near-real time and identifies duplicate or incorrect payments in an effort to ensure travel claims are paid in accordance with regulations and recoup funds for erroneous payments.
The tool is being incrementally implemented across the Department as organizations are added to the pilot. Initially the tool focused on identifying three of the most common and clear cut policy compliance errors: OCONUS laundry expense, OCONUS foreign lodging tax, and duplicate lodging payments. Additional items have been added since initial deployment. The OCONUS lodging tax query has been expanded and an Administrative Foreign Lodging tax query has been added that identifies when lodging tax is added is a non-mileage reimbursable expense but does not exceed the locality per diem rate when added to the lodging cost. New queries will also be added as they are tested and become available including:
* Excess Lodging - identifies additional lodging costs claimed as a reimbursable expense when full locality rate is claimed as per diem
* Incorrect Government Quarters Rate - identifies when travelers do not change the default $55 per day for government quarters when that is not the rate for that location
* Contingency Operation Per Diem - identifies when travelers receive more than $3.50 per day per diem when the combatant commander directs that all meals are available and limits per diem to the government incidental rate of $3.50
* Duplicate Airfare - identifies when travelers claim airfare for tickets that were cancelled or refunded to their government travel charge card
This tool will be utilized to ensure we are operating in accordance with the Under Secretary of Defense, Robert Hale's memo, dated 18 July 2013, subject: Implementation of the DOD Travel Pay Remediation Plan. The Plan requires each DOD organization to have an overall error reduction target rate of 3.26% for FY13 and 3.25% for FY14.
For more information on the program and the Compliance Tool, visit: www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/compliance.