JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
A Department of Defense policy now requires all DOD personnel who travel as part of their duties to obtain and use a Government Travel Charge Card, including those who travel infrequently.
The policy, implemented in June, also applies to DOD civilian employees who belong to Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard units, said Tracy Kreusler, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron supervisory transportation assistant. Their GTCCs will be issued through their civilian agency, not their reserve or guard unit.
The new policy means that infrequent travel is no longer an acceptable exemption from use of the GTCC, which is an individually billed account card, Kreusler said.
“Greater use of IBA cards will mitigate problems associated with unused airline tickets and improper payments as well as reduce costs associated with reconciling and paying centrally billed account invoices,” she said.
Starting in January, the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center will actively track CBA usage and report accordingly as the CBA will be limited to exempt employees only, Kreusler said.
The GTCC program provides numerous benefits, she said.
Among them are increasing data capture, providing business intelligence to improve travel programs, reducing overall travel costs and expanding strategic sourcing opportunities; improving audit readiness and program management; and reducing the need for travel advances, reconciliation and collection.
The program also eliminates the need for travelers to pay for expenses with their own personal funds, improves financial readiness and security of travelers, and increases rebates from the travel card vendor.
Service members and DOD civilians receive applications for an IBA through their agency program coordinator or at Citibank’s website, Kreusler said.
“Your APC will provide important program information and the DOD Statement of Understanding for Travel Cardholders, which every applicant must complete prior to being issued an account,” she said.
The travel card vendor issues the travel card and cardholder agreement within three business days of receiving a properly completed and approved application, although an emergency application approved by the APC can expedite the process.
Cards available to DOD personnel are the standard travel card, which is issued to individuals with a qualifying credit score, and the restricted travel card, which is issued to individuals with a non-qualifying credit score, individuals with no credit history or selected individuals as directed by their commander or sponsor.
DOD personnel are required to use the travel card for all authorized expenses relating to official government travel – defined as travel under official orders to meet mission requirements. They also are required to submit travel vouchers within five business days of completion of travel and use split disbursement to pay all expenses charged to the card directly to the travel card vendor.