Travel Policy and Compliance

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» Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Business Practices | 0 comments

The agency that I work for, in addition to its mission, provides franchise services to various Government agencies.  Our Travel Services Division services over 30 of those customer agencies by providing a Travel Help Desk to assist travelers with navigating the E-Gov Travel System (ETS) , travel policy guidance and training, travel voucher payment processing, post-payment travel voucher audits, centrally billed account reconciliation, travel card management, as well as relocation services.

During our latest reorganization, our Division formed a Policy And Compliance Team (PAC Team) consisting of six members with varied areas of expertise.  The main functions of this team are travel policy guidance/training, post-payment travel voucher audits, ETS and travel policy training management, report request management, agency regulatory reporting, system access reviews, and special projects focused on system, process, and policy improvements.

We provide our employees and customers with training in both the ETS and the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).  The PAC Team meets the training needs of our customers by providing quarterly ETS training classes at our agency for internal customers and in the Washington, D.C. area for our external customers.  We also provide customized FTR training (e.g., approving official overview, regular temporary duty training, advanced FTR, etc.) as requested.

Travel policy guidance is provided daily to our franchise customers via phone and email.  We have developed our Travel Policy Guidance that most of our customers have adopted as their own travel policy in addition to the FTR, of course.  We even work with our customers to assist them in developing their own travel policies.  Also, in support of travel policy, we created a Lotus Notes Team Room that our agency’s approving officials and travel document preparers use as a resource for researching travel topics and adding their own comments and experiences in a blog format.  We have also participated in many focus groups and committees designed to improve governmentwide travel policy.  Most recently, we participated in a TDY Travel Policy Workshop held by GSA/DTMO, a review of the U.S. Government Car Rental Agreement, a FedRooms project, a GSA Travel Purpose Identifier Focus Group, just to name a few.

The PAC Team manages the post-payment travel voucher audit process, which ensures that our customers’ travelers are in compliance with current travel policy and have been reimbursed accordingly.  Any overpayments or underpayments are reported to the traveler and their agency travel contact.

Another function of the PAC Team is report request management.  This includes ensuring that customer report requests are completed and delivered to our customers.  Some reports are routine scheduled reports (e.g., monthly, quarterly, etc.), while others are reports requested one time.  This reporting function also includes responding to regulatory data calls requested by OMB, GSA, or GAO.

Access to the ETS is audited annually by outside auditors. Documentation must be kept on exit clearances, new user access, invitational traveler setup, permission level changes, routing list changes, and group access. The PAC Team performs weekly system access reviews to ensure that all required documentation is available for the auditing process.

This is just a highlight of some of our main functions as a team.  I am proud to be a member of the PAC Team and welcome the opportunities that come along with being a member of this team.  I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

By Angela Williamson

“The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.”

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