[Federal Register: April 21, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 78)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 21365-21367]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21ap00-21]                         

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 301-51, 301-52, 301-54, 301-70, 301-71 and 301-76

[FTR Amendment 92]
RIN 3090-AH24

 
Federal Travel Regulation; Mandatory Use of the Travel Charge 
Card

AGENCY: Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 
Amendment 90 published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, January 
19, 2000 (65 FR 3054) concerning payment by the Government of expenses 
connected with official Government travel. This final rule further 
implements the requirements of Public Law 105-264.

DATES: This final rule is effective April 21, 2000, and applies to 
payment of expenses in connection with official Government travel 
performed on or after May 1, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Harte, Office of Governmentwide 
Policy, Travel and Transportation Management Policy Division, at (202) 
501-1538.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    Pursuant to Public Law 105-264, subsection 2(a), the Administrator 
of General Services is required to issue regulations requiring Federal 
employees to use the travel charge card established pursuant to the 
United States Travel and Transportation Payment and Expense Control 
System, or any Federal contractor-issued travel charge card, for all 
payments of expenses of official Government travel. Additionally, 
Public Law 105-264 requires the Administrator of General Services to 
issue regulations on reimbursement of travel expenses and collection of 
delinquent amounts upon written request of a Federal contractor.
    The General Services Administration (GSA), after an analysis of 
additional data, has:
    (1) Determined that certain relocation expenses (excluding en route 
travel and househunting expenses) are not technically ``travel'' 
expenses and, therefore, are not covered under the provisions of the 
statute.
    (2) Established the date of May 1, 2002, for agencies to reach a 
seven-calendar day limit for reviewing travel claims.
    (3) Permitted an agency to either calculate late payment fees using 
the Prompt Payment Act Interest Rate or a flat amount based on an 
agency average of travel claims, but not less than the prompt payment 
amount.
    (4) Deleted health insurance from consideration as disposable pay.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule is not required to be published in the Federal 
Register for notice and comment; therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act does not apply.

C. Executive Order 12866

    GSA has determined that this final rule is not a significant 
regulatory action for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 of 
September 30, 1993.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this final rule 
does not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, 
or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members 
of the public which require the approval of the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 501 et seq.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This final rule is also exempt from congressional review prescribed 
under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management and 
personnel.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 301-51, 301-52, 301-54, 301-70, 
301-71, and 301-76

    Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 41 CFR Chapter 301 is 
amended as follows:

PART 301-51--PAYING TRAVEL EXPENSES

    1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-51 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707. Subpart A is issued under the 
authority of Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 
note); 40 U.S.C. 486(c).


    2. Section 301-51.2 is amended by adding paragraph (l) to read as 
follows:


Sec. 301-51.2  What official travel expenses and/or classes of 
employees are exempt from the mandatory use of the Government 
contractor-issued travel charge card?

* * * * *
    (l) Relocation allowances prescribed in chapter 302 of this title, 
except en-route travel and househunting trip expenses.

PART 301-52--CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT

    3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-52 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-
264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).


    4. Sections 301-52.17 and 301-52.18 are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-52.17  Within how many calendar days after I submit a proper 
travel claim must my agency reimburse my allowable expenses?

    Your agency must reimburse you within 30 calendar days after you 
submit a proper travel claim to your agency's designated approving 
office. Your agency must ensure that it uses a satisfactory 
recordkeeping system to track submission of travel claims. For example, 
travel claims submitted by mail, in accordance with your agency's 
policy, could be annotated with the time and date of receipt by your 
agency. Your agency could consider travel claims electronically 
submitted to the designated approving office as submitted on the date 
indicated on an e-mail log, or on the next business day if submitted 
after normal working hours. However, claims for the following 
relocation allowances are exempt from this provision:
    (a) Transportation and storage of household goods and professional 
books, papers and equipment;
    (b) Transportation of mobile home;
    (c) Transportation of a privately owned vehicle;
    (d) Temporary quarters subsistence expense, when not paid as lump 
sum;
    (e) Residence transaction expenses;
    (f) Relocation income tax allowance;
    (g) Use of a relocation services company;
    (h) Home marketing incentive payments; and
    (i) Allowance for property management services.

[[Page 21366]]

Sec. 301-52.18  Within how many calendar days after I submit a travel 
claim must my agency notify me of any error that would prevent payment 
within 30 calendar days after submission?

    Your agency must notify you as soon as practicable after you submit 
your travel claim of any error that would prevent payment within 30 
calendar days after submission and must provide the reason(s) why your 
travel claim is not proper. However, not later than May 1, 2002, 
agencies must achieve a maximum time period of seven working days for 
notifying you that your travel claim is not proper.

    5. Section 301-52.20 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-52.20  How are late payment fees calculated?

    Your agency must either:
    (a) Calculate late payment fees using the prevailing Prompt Payment 
Act Interest Rate beginning on the 31st day after submission of a 
proper travel claim and ending on the date on which payment is made; or
    (b) Reimburse you a flat fee of not less than the prompt payment 
amount, based on an agencywide average of travel claim payments; and
    (c) In addition to the fee required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section, your agency must also pay you an amount equivalent to any 
late payment charge that the card contractor would have been able to 
charge you had you not paid the bill.

PART 301-54--COLLECTION OF UNDISPUTED DELINQUENT AMOUNTS OWED TO 
THE CONTRACTOR ISSUING THE INDIVIDUALLY BILLED TRAVEL CHARGE
CARD

    6. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-54 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-
264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).


    7. Section 301-54.2 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-54.2  What is disposable pay?

    Disposable pay is your compensation remaining after the deduction 
from your earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld. These 
deductions do not include discretionary deductions such as savings 
bonds, charitable contributions, etc. Deductions may be made from any 
type of pay you receive from your agency, e.g., basic pay, special pay, 
retirement pay, or incentive pay.

PART 301-70--INTERNAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE REQUIREMENTS

    8. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-70 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-
264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).


    9. Section 301-70.704 is amended by adding a note at the end of the 
section to read as follows:


Sec. 301-70.704  What expenses and/or classes of employees are exempt 
from the mandatory use of the Government contractor-issued travel 
charge card?

* * * * *

    Note to Sec. 301-70.704: Relocation allowances prescribed in 
chapter 302 of this title, except en-route travel and househunting 
trip expenses are not covered by this requirement.

PART 301-71--AGENCY TRAVEL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS

    10. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-71 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-
264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).


    11. Section 301-71.204 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-71.204  Within how many calendar days after the submission of 
a proper travel claim must we reimburse the employee's allowable 
expenses?

    You must reimburse the employee within 30 calendar days after the 
employee submits a proper travel claim to the agency's designated 
approving office. You must use a satisfactory recordkeeping system to 
track submission of travel claims. For example, travel claims submitted 
by mail, in accordance with agency policy, could be annotated with the 
time and date of receipt by the agency. You could consider travel 
claims electronically submitted to the designated approving office as 
submitted on the date indicated on an e-mail log, or on the next 
business day if submitted after normal working hours. However, claims 
for the following relocation allowances are exempt from this provision:
    (a) Transportation and storage of household goods and professional 
books, papers and equipment;
    (b) Transportation of mobile home;
    (c) Transportation of a privately owned vehicle;
    (d) Temporary quarters subsistence expense, when not paid as lump 
sum;
    (e) Residence transaction expenses;
    (f) Relocation income tax allowance;
    (g) Use of a relocation services company;
    (h) Home marketing incentive payments; and
    (i) Allowance for property management services.

    12. Section 301-71.208 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-71.208  Within how many calendar days after submission of a 
proper travel claim must we notify the employee of any errors in the 
claim?

    You must notify the employee as soon as practicable after the 
employee's submission of the travel claim of any error that would 
prevent payment within 30 calendar days after submission and provide 
the reason(s) why the claim is not proper. However, not later than May 
1, 2002, you must achieve a maximum time period of seven working days 
for notifying an employee that his/her travel claim is not proper.

    13. Section 301-71.210 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301-71.210  How do we calculate late payment fees?

    Late payment fees are calculated either by:
    (a) Using the prevailing Prompt Payment Act Interest Rate beginning 
on the 31st day after submission of a proper travel claim and ending on 
the date on which payment is made; or
    (b) A flat fee, of not less than the prompt payment amount, based 
on an agencywide average of travel claim payments; and
    (c) In addition to the fee required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section, you must also pay an amount equivalent to any late 
payment charge that the card contractor would have been able to charge 
had the employee not paid the bill. Payment of this additional fee will 
be based upon the effective date that a late payment charge would be 
allowed under the agreement between the employee and the card 
contractor.

PART 301-76--COLLECTION OF UNDISPUTED DELINQUENT AMOUNTS OWED TO 
THE CONTRACTOR ISSUING THE INDIVIDUALLY BILLED TRAVEL CHARGE
CARD

    14. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-76 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L. 105-
264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).

    15. Section 301-76.2 is revised to read as follows:

[[Page 21367]]

Sec. 301-76.2  What is disposable pay?

    Disposable pay is the part of the employee's compensation remaining 
after the deduction of any amounts required by law to be withheld. 
These deductions do not include discretionary deductions such as 
savings bonds, charitable contributions, etc. Deductions may be made 
from any type of pay, e.g., basic pay, special pay, retirement pay, or 
incentive pay.

    Dated: April 13, 2000.
David J. Barram,
Administrator of General Services.
[FR Doc. 00-9774 Filed 4-20-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-34-P