DATE: November 23, 2004

SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Relocation Allowances

SOURCE: Federal Register, November 23, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 225, page 68111

AGENCIES: Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration (GSA)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: GSA is proposing to amend FTR Chapter 302, Relocation Allowances, to incorporate private industry policies and best practices to keep government relocation practices in line with current relocation trends and to better manage the government relocation programs and costs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The FTR is Chapters 300 through 304 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The FTR is available on the Internet at http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&ooid=14161&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaDocument.jsp&programId=8955&channelId=-14863.

DATES: Comments must by submitted no later than January 24, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Respondents may submit comments directly on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; on the web site at http://www.gsa.gov/ftr; by e-mail to: ftrcase.2003-309@gsa.gov; by fax to 202-501-4067; ro by mail to General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (V), 1800 F Street, NW., Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405. Cite " FTR Case 2003-309" when making comments on this proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ed Davis, Program Analyst (Team Leader), Office of Governmentwide Policy, Travel Management Policy, 202-208-7638.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Much of private industry uses lump sum relocation payments for all relocation expenses except real estate expenses. Temporary quarters, miscellaneous expenses, and other payments have a small one-time administrative cost and do not need to be reconciled in a post-payment audit. The administrative savings and efficiency improvements of such systems are substantial.

Private industry spends less time on its relocation packages because, generally, they are tiered, more flexible to handle exceptions, and relocation expenses rarely extend beyond one year because there are no extensions. The focus is on getting the transferee settled at the new location as fast as possible in permanent quarters. Currently, the government permits federal employees to voucher items from a move up to 4 years after the move (two years to complete a relocation plus a two year extension). This is a drain on federal accounting systems as monies must remain allocated to cover transactions.

To remedy this situation, the following changes are proposed to FTR Chapter 302:

In addition, the following terms and definitions would be added to FTR 300-3.1, What do the following terms mean?: "accompanied baggage" and "unaccompanied air baggage" ("personal items and equipment (i.e., pots, pans, light housekeeping items, collapsible items (cribs, playpens, baby carriages) and other articles required for the care of the family that may be shipped by air").

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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