Air Force

June 7, 2013

Government Travel Charge Card: rules to live by

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

travel-card
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Sequestration has taken effect, the Air Force and the Department of Defense have taken steps to control the use of appropriated funds. Even so, service members and DOD civilians will still need to travel.

During a TDY or permanent change of station, Airmen traveling on orders will use the Government Travel Charge Card program to cover the cost of official travel. Some Airmen may not be familiar with the ins and outs of how to use their GTCCs and end up hurting themselves and the Air Force financially.

The GTCC program gives Airmen the funds to travel for official business without causing undue strain on their personal finances. The policy of the DOD is that the GTCC will be used by all DOD Members to pay for all costs related to official government travel. Official government travel is travel under orders while performing duties pertaining to official government assignments.

It is a tool meant to help uniformed members and civilian employees.

Before being issued a GTCC, every member who is a part of the program must sign a statement of understanding and complete a computer-based training course to learn about its proper use.

“The problem with the CBT is sometimes people just click through and don’t get the information that they need,” said Airman 1st Class Hoang Vuong, 99th Comptroller Squadron base agency program coordinator and lead defense travel administrator.

“Most of the misuse we see is accidental, the majority of the time it is first-term Airmen who have never had a GTCC before and don’t know how to use it,” said Senior Airman Kayla Ciriello, 99th Comptroller Squadron special actions section customer service technician.

Sometimes people are unclear on the specific process pertaining to paying the debt on their GTCC, Vuong said. A lot of people don’t realize if they charge food on their GTCC, it will not get paid off directly. Meals are charged as per-diem and when the travel voucher is paid off the split disbursement for meals goes into their personal account. The amount they charged for meals on their GTCC will stay on their GTCC until they physically pay it from their own account using the money from the split disbursement.

Another common issue is the length of time it takes to file a voucher.

“When there is an issue with a member’s voucher, we won’t accept it and we will kick it back to them,” Ciriello said. “Sometimes the members are not checking their emails or not staying on top of their vouchers and they go overdue after 75 days of receiving their bill.”

“The individual member is ultimately responsible for the payment for their GTCC no matter what,” Vuong said.

Willful misuse of the GTCC may constitute a crime punishable under federal or state law.

“We had an Airman that tried to claim a $15,000 TDY,” said Staff Sgt. Ariel Hunsuckle, 99th Comptroller Squadron special actions NCO in charge and deputy disbursing officer. “He wasn’t on any special assignment; just a routine TDY and he claimed $8,000 worth of gas.”

The GTCC program allows members to charge lodging, meals and travel related expenses, but there are auditors reviewing travel vouchers to make sure those claims make sense.

“He was only going from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.,” Hunsuckle said. “I looked up his bills and saw that he was using his GTCC at places like Best Buy and buying major appliances.”

Just because a member makes a claim does not mean it will be automatically reimbursed.

“I computed his charges and came up with about $1,500,” Hunsuckle said. “It was definitely willful misuse. It was absolutely wrong to try and pay his card off with government money hoping no one would notice.”

When there is evidence of willful misuse of a GTCC, an investigation will be launched and the member may be charged with Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for failure to obey a lawful order, as well as any other applicable articles based on the nature of the misconduct involved.

“The first sergeant for his squadron emailed our division chief because this member was claiming that his card was not paid in full,” Hunsuckle said. “The division chief came to me and asked what was happening and it launched a huge investigation. The member was separated from the Air Force for willful misuse of the GTCC. At its most basic [element] it demonstrates a complete lack of integrity and there are many UCMJ articles that can be used against someone for it.”

One important thing to remember about the GTCC is that it is a credit card and it will negatively impact a holder’s credit score if it is abused or not paid off on time.

Most of the misuse is accidental, Vuong said. There is no actual list of everything that can be charged and everything that can’t. The card should only be used for travel when a member is on orders but if anyone has questions on using their GTCC they should email 99thcpts.gtc@nellis.af.mil.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
1000-hours

Pilot reaches milestone, achieves 1000 flight hours

Maj. Matt Allen, a 706th Reserve Squadron full-time air reserve technician who is assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron as an F-22 test director, stands by an F-22 Raptor before flight July 21, at Nellis Air Force B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Daniel Millard, 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman, prepares to fuel an aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 22, at Nellis Air Force...
 
 
raptors1

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 

 

Air Force announces changes to headquarters organization

WASHINGTON — Air Force leaders announced changes to headquarters staff manning and organization July 14. The Air Force will create efficiencies by deactivating and realigning organizations at Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, Numbered Air Forces and Field Operating Agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years. “I...
 
 

LEAP application window opens

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. — The Language Enabled Airman Program is accepting active-duty officer and enlisted applications July 15 – Aug. 22. Those intending to submit applications must register their intent to apply by Aug. 8. Officer candidate students in their senior years may also apply. LEAP is a career-spanning program to identify, develop and...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

Red Flag 14-3 just days away

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young An F-15E Strike Eagle flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker while waiting for its wingman to finish refueling during Red Flag 14-2 March 13 over the Nevada Test and Training R...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin