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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: January 19, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 90; Mandatory Use of the Travel Charge Card

SOURCE: Federal Register, January 19, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 12, page 3053

AGENCIES: General Services Administration (GSA)

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: The July 16, 1999, interim rule that amended the FTR to implement the requirements of Public Law 105-264, the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998, enacted October 19, 1998, regarding the required use of the travel charge card, collection of amounts owed, and reimbursement of travel expenses, is finalized with changes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The FTR is Chapters 300 through 304 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This final rule amends Chapter 301, Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The provisions of this final rule are effective July 16, 1999. The provisions of this final rule governing official travel apply to official travel performed after February 29, 2000, or upon the issuance of agency implementing regulations, whichever occurs first.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra Batton, Travel and Transportation Management Policy Division, 202-501-1538.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In Public Law 105-264, paragraph (a) of Section 2, Requiring Use of the Travel Charge Card, requires the Administrator of General Services 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." In addition, paragraph (e) of Section 2 requires the Administrator to issue regulations on reimbursement of travel expenses and collection of delinquent amounts upon written request of a federal travel charge card contractor.

On July 16, 1999, GSA issued an interim rule which amended FTR Part 301 to implement these requirements and requested comments. Comments were received from twenty-two federal agencies, seven unions and other organizations representing employees, fifty-two federal employees, and one bank. Based on those comments, GSA has finalized the interim rule with changes.

The following are the main provisions of the final rule, with changes between the interim and final versions indicated in brackets ("[ ]"):

EDITOR'S NOTE: FTR 301-51.7, What are the consequences of using the Government contractor-issued travel charge card for non-official travel purposes?, states that agencies "may take appropriate disciplinary action." While several comments suggested that GSA provide specific guidelines on appropriate disciplinary action, GSA declined because it believes "each agency, not GSA, should set the level of action to take..." Nevertheless, in the introductory material to the final rule, GSA has provided an example of one agency's disciplinary actions:

Offense Minimum penalty Maximum penalty
First offense Written reprimand Removal
Second offense Ten-day suspension Removal
Third offense Fourteen-day suspension Removal

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail at BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2000 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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