AMSA serves as the industry's voice with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on all matters related to professional moving services for service members and their families. Here are some important issues you need to know for your military moves.
On Sept. 13, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) held its annual Personal Property Forum (PPF) with the moving and storage industry near Washington, D.C. AMSA President and CEO Scott Michael and Director of Military Policy John Becker attended this event with about 200 industry representatives and all of the HQ Services represented. On the Sept. 15, they also attended the Peak Season Hotwash with government representatives from all services. As usual, it was a good opportunity for networking both within the industry and with the government officials.
LTC Todd Jensen provided an in-depth overview of this year's peak season and discussed some of the topics for the meeting. One item that garnered a lot of the conversation was the data being reported for Missed RDD's, which has been the subject of numerous discussions prior to the Peak Season and throughout the summer. AMSA asked for and the SDDC provided the data that is being used for further analysis to determine if there are changes that need to be made to the transit time guide or to identify problem areas. This data review is ongoing and updates will be provided to AMSA members and the SDDC in the near future.
Col. Todd Burnley from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Transportation Policy talked about the issues affecting all Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) regarding base access procedures. Col. Burnley is leading a team that includes members from all services on standardizing access procedures, including driver credentialing and disqualification criteria, across hundreds of DoD installations. Col. Burnley discussed the new policy for electronic physical access control (ePACS) that was issued in July concerning base access. This policy states that by Dec. 2016 about 70 percent of DoD installations will be capable of scanning the TWIC via ePACS and vetting the driver against various government databases to determine "fitness" (i.e. not a threat to installation personnel and resources). This is the same process/system used today for validating their "fitness" of DoD-affiliated personnel with Common Access Cards (CAC). The process/system will be used for all visitors, including truck drivers with an expansion to "REAL ID"-compliant driver's licenses in the future. The driver must still have a "need" to enter the installation (e.g. electronic or hard copy bill of lading, SDDC Carrier Appointment System, gate confirmation with installation Transportation Officer, etc.).
Drivers may enroll at any installation visitor control center that is "ePACS capable" and must provide a credential that proves their identity. Installation personnel will conduct a criminal history check against government databases, then drivers will be enrolled in ePACS for up to three years, or until their TWIC expires. For future visits, a driver's TWIC will be scanned at the gate and automatically screened against government databases. Enrollment in ePACS at one installation will eventually serve as enrollment for all installations; DoD is working to standardize disqualification criteria across all Services/Installations. Enrollment is free; however, carriers/drivers are responsible for costs associated with obtaining the TWIC (and REAL ID in the future).
Roni McDaniel, Deputy Program for the Defense Personal Property System (DPS), gave a detailed update about upcoming software releases planned for FY17. Some of the scheduled releases are to support a new development process for DPS. An upcoming release 3.7.0 is scheduled for December and will include updates that will correct the short fuse shipments not unlocking after five minutes and a correction to the click count tools used by the SDDC. As the release schedule gets finalized, we will provide information to you about each release. Some of the proposed release items include Document Imaging (on a limited capacity), claims redesign, and transition of some modules to web methods.
The Quality Assurance/Operations team presentations were given by Dave Jones and Beth Holloway. The topics covered were Transit Times, Inconvenience Claims, and Quality Assurance Processes. Jones spoke in depth on the appeals process if a TSP is not satisfied with a PPSO's decision on appeal of an LOW/LOS. These appeals need to be sent to email@example.com. Also discussed was the Transportation Review Board process; you can review the slides on this topic or contact John Becker for more information.
There was an DP3 Phase III Update given by Janice Griffin on new initiatives to move Direct Procurement Method (DPM) contracts into DPS as well as the projected release of NTS into DPS. For DPM, they will be completing the business rules in Oct. 2016, with those rules being posted on the Federal Register Nov.-Dec. 2016 with a Federal Register comment adjudication in Jan.-Feb. 2017. There is no projected date at this time for implementation into DPS. NTS's projected implementation into DPS is scheduled for Oct. 2017 prompted some discussion and questions for the SDDC. There were several issues raised including training schedule, qualification process, migration of TOPS data into DPS, and rate filing process. Based on answers provided by the SDDC, all of these items are still in development and the actual date for when DPS will be used for NTS has not been determined. AMSA has been communicating with the Storage Management Office on these items and emphasizing the need for them to be addressed well in advance of DPS implementation.
AMSA thanked the SDDC for having the PPF in the Washington, D.C., area, which allowed the HQ Services and other agencies to attend, but asked for the resumption of a spring and fall PPF to ensure information is presented to all concerned.
In the past couple of months there have been references made by the SDDC concerning a DP3 Program 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. This review was jointly directed by the US TRANSCOM 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."
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 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 Course of Actions for implementation by Feb. 2017. LTC Jensen stated that the initial review is directed at internal processes within the government at this time. AMSA has 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 AMSA of our inclusion in these discussions as warranted and will provide updates as they become available.
The SDDC has announced their intention to continue with the early rate filing schedule that was initiated in 2016 for the start of rate filing for the 2016 cycle. At the current time, dates for the appeal periods aren't definitively set. AMSA will provide those dates as soon as they become finalized by the SDDC.
Rate filing for the 2017 rate cycle will open in January with the following dates for Rounds 1 & 2:
Round 1 opens Jan. 8 and closes Jan. 13
Round 2 opens Feb. 3 and closes Feb. 11
There are several releases planned within the next five months for DPS. At the current time, these are notional releases and, as the dates are confirmed, the SDDC will send out advisories on specific dates and outage times. We will provide more information as AMSA gets the details of each release.
Release 3.5.0 Nov. 2016
SCR 657 Document Management (Infrastructure & Counseling)
SCR 7346 Workbench and BRF display different start/end dates
TSCR 7404 Analytics Data Load
SPR Maintenance Release
Release 3.6.0 Dec. 2016
Oracle 12c COTS Database Upgrade
Release 3.7.0 Dec. 2016
SCR 7108 PPM Checklist
SCR 6648 Add Customer Rank and Pay Grade to Screen Displays
TSCR 7348 Short Fuse Click Count Fix
TSCR 7353 Short Fuse Shipments Not Unlocking at 5 Minutes
TSCR 7190 TGET Interface Format Changes
Release 3.8.0 March 2017
SCR 6771 SDN, Order Number, LOA and TAC
SCR 7168 TGET Manual Override for Army TAC & MDCs
SCR 6353 Orders Accounting Info Needs to Link to Shipment
Release 3.9.0 May 2017
SCR 6604 Claims Redesign, TSCR 7509 Claims Technical Redesign
SCR 7393 Self-Counseling Improvements
TSCR 7433 Self-Counseling Technical Redesign
TSCR 7434 Standardized User Interface Infrastructure
TSCR 7407 WebLogic COTS Upgrade
Several issues were identified that Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO)/Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) will continue their increased oversight in the future. This increased oversight is based on the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) compliance mandated by Congress that the DoD be audit-ready by 2017.
Reweighs - Based on data reviews that a majority of shipments where reweighs were requested but not accomplished, the Services are beginning to enforce punitive action to include suspensions on shipments that aren't reweighed when requested. These requests populate in the PPSO or Member request queue within DPS.
NAVY Invoice Supporting Documentation - The Navy is requiring that all paperwork for invoices that are processed at Navy-controlled Government Bill of Lading Office Codes (GBLOC) must be sent to their offices. These cannot be sent as a link via the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or by a third-party service. This is due to a Navy audit requiring that the documents must be maintained by the invoice approving office. There is an update to the Defense Travel Regulation (DTR) Appendix A in coordination. All documents can be sent by email to Navy_HHG_docs@navy.mil.
The services have identified areas that they can improve when it comes to helping set customer expectations. Below are a few of the items that JPPSO/PPSO's will be emphasizing to members in the counseling process. These items can also be told to customers in a TSP's first contact with a member to reaffirm what the JPPSO/PPSO's have told them at the time of counseling.
Customer may not see the packers on the first day
Customer should expect to have packers want to work past 5:00 p.m.
Customer needs to be ready on move day and be available for duration of pack out (packers present or not)
House/property clean (Mbr missed pickups/Dirty houses)
Customer may not see property leave in an officially logoed moving van (APU)
The SDDC has published Change 2 for both the 400NG and IT-16. Theses updates were based on feedback from the industry and AMSA on issues that weren't addressed in Change 1. Areas that were addressed in the 400NG include item 4 clarification of shipment arrival and reweigh procedure guidance. Changes in the IT16 include Foreign Flag and ACA contact info, reweigh procedure guidance, and crating compensation changes. For full versions, see links below.
As part of the annual qualification review process, the SDDC provided the following timelines for TSPs to follow that will help in maintaining their authority within the DP3 program. The SDDC will not be sending out emails as reminders when each review is done and expects TSPs to make sure they are registered in good standing in each of the following websites.
Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) in January — www.ucr.in.gov
Secretary of State in May — www.secstates.com
National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA) in July — www.nmfta.org
CIP & COR submittal and review Nov.-Dec. — within DPS System for Award Management (SAM) monthly — www.sam.gov
Update of Bond and insurance effective dates monthly
FMCSA - www.fmcsa.dot.gov (SDDC is currently conducting 100 percent operating authority review)
HQ SDDC has posted updated email contacts for specific areas within the Personal Property Directorate.
Domestic Rates: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Rates: email@example.com
Quality Assurance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shipment Management: email@example.com
TSP Qualifications: firstname.lastname@example.org
User Management: email@example.com