[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 190 (Thursday, October 1, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59094-59102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24858]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 102-117 and 102-118

[FMR Case 2015-102-2; Docket 2015-0014; Sequence 1]
RIN 3090-AJ59


Federal Management Regulation (FMR); Transportation Payment and 
Audit

AGENCY: Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services 
Administration (GSA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: GSA is proposing to amend the Federal Management Regulation 
(FMR), Transportation Payment and Audit, to clarify agency and 
Department of Defense (DOD) transportation

[[Page 59095]]

payment and audit requirements. GSA is also proposing to amend relevant 
definitions as a result of these proposed amendments. The FMR is 
written in plain language to provide agencies with updated regulatory 
material that is easy to read and understand.

DATES: Submit comments on or before November 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by FMR Case 2015-102-2, 
Transportation Payment and Audit, by any of the following methods:
     Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.
    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching FMR 
Case 2015-102-2. Select the link ``Comment Now'' that corresponds with 
``FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit''. Follow the 
instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company 
name (if any), and ``FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and 
Audit'' on your attached document.
     Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory 
Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. 
ATTN: Ms. Flowers/FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and 
Audit.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite ``FMR Case 2015-
102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit'' in all correspondence related 
to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business 
confidential information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact 
Ms. Lois Mandell, Office of Government-wide Policy, at 202-501-2735. 
Please cite FMR Case 2015-102-2. For information pertaining to status 
or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division 
(MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, 202-501-4755.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    Agencies are authorized to procure transportation services either 
through the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by utilizing a 
contract, or via 49 U.S.C. 10721 (for rail transportation), 49 U.S.C. 
13712 (for surface transportation), and/or 49 U.S.C. 15504 (for 
pipeline transportation) by utilizing rate tenders. It is critical that 
agencies ensure that services received are properly charged and that 
the payment made is correct.
    Over the past year, GSA, working with the Governmentwide 
Transportation Policy Council (GTPC) completed the first of a two-part 
phase reviewing FMR Part 102-118, Transportation Payment and Audit. The 
GTPC is composed of representatives from civilian agencies and the 
Department of Defense and provides guidance in the planning and 
development of uniform transportation policies and procedures.
    The first phase focused on transportation prepayment and 
postpayment audits and reviewed FMR Part 102-118 Subparts A (General), 
D (Prepayment Audits of Transportation Services), and E (Postpayment 
Transportation Audits), resulting in this proposed rule.
    The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-264) 
established agency statutory requirements for prepayment audits of 
Federal agency and DoD transportation expenses and GSA statutory 
authority for audit oversight to protect the interests of the 
Government.
    This proposed rule clarifies and strengthens the regulations for 
agency compliance for transportation prepayment audits and postpayment 
audits.
    The proposed rule also includes updates to definitions in 41 CFR 
part 102-117, Transportation Management, as a result of the proposed 
amendments to FMR part 102-118.
    The second phase, beginning January 2015, will continue the review 
process for 41 CFR part 118, Transportation Payment and Audit Subparts 
A (General), B (Ordering and Paying for Transportation and 
Transportation Services), C (Use of Government Billing Documents), and 
F (Claims and Appeals Procedures).

B. Proposed Substantive Changes

    GSA proposes to:
     Revise the definitions for ``Agency'', ``Bill of lading'', 
``Government bill of lading'', ``Transportation document'', and 
``Transportation Service Provider'', remove the term and definition of 
``Release/declared value'', and add the term and definition ``Declared 
value'' in FMR Part 102-117; and to revise the definitions of the terms 
``Agency'', ``Bill of lading'', ``Document reference number'', 
``Government bill of lading'', ``Government transportation request'', 
Offset'', ``Overcharge'', ``Postpayment audit'', Rate authority'', 
``Reparation'', Standard Carrier Alpha Code'', ``Statement of 
difference'', ``Supplemental bill'', ``Transportation document'', and 
``Transportation Service provider'', remove the terms ``Agency claim'', 
``Transportation service provider claim'', and ``Virtual GBL (VGBL)'', 
and add the terms ``Claim'' and ``Declared value'' in FMR Part 102-118 
to ensure consistency.
     Strengthen agencies requirements and responsibilities of 
transportation prepayment audits and transportation postpayment audit, 
submission requirements to the GSA Transportation Audits Division, and 
the required information on all transportation documentation.
     Clarify GSA Transportation Audit roles and 
responsibilities.

C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This is not a significant regulatory action, and therefore, will not be 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major 
rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These revisions are not substantive, and therefore, this proposed 
rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. The proposed rule is also exempt 
from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), because 
it applies to agency management or personnel.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements 
that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is also exempt from Congressional review 
prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates to agency management or 
personnel.

List of Subjects

41 CFR Part 102-117

    Freight, Government property management, Moving of household goods, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Transportation.

[[Page 59096]]

41 CFR Part 102-118

    Accounting, Claims, Government property management., Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Dated: September 17, 2015.
Christine Harada,
Associate Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA proposes to amend 41 
CFR parts 102-117 and 102-118 as follows:

PART 102-117--TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

0
1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 102-117 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  31 U.S.C. 3726; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 40 U.S.C. 501, et 
seq.; 46 U.S.C. 55305; 49 U.S.C. 40118.

0
2. Amend Sec.  102-117.25 by--
0
a. Revising the definitions of ``Agency'' and ``Bill of lading'';
0
b. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definition ``Declared value'';
0
c. Revising the definition of ``Government bill of lading (GBL)'';
0
d. Removing the definition ``Release/declared value''; and
0
e. Revising the definitions of ``Transportation document'', and 
``Transportation service provider (TSP)''.
    The revised and added text reads as follows:


Sec.  102-117.25  What definitions apply to this part?

* * * * *
    Agency means a department, agency, and independent establishment in 
the executive branch of the Government as defined in 5 U.S.C. 101 et 
seq., and a wholly-owned Government corporation as defined in 31 U.S.C. 
9101(3).
    Bill of lading (BOL), sometimes referred to as a commercial bill of 
lading, but includes a Government bill of lading (GBL), means the 
document used as a receipt of goods, a contract of carriage, and 
documentary evidence of title.
* * * * *
    Declared value, sometimes referred to as released value,'' means 
the assigned value of the cargo for reimbursement purposes and is 
stated in dollars. Declared value may be more or less than the actual 
value of the cargo. The declared value is the maximum amount that could 
be recovered by the agency in the event of loss or damage for the 
shipments of freight and household goods. The statement of declared 
value must be shown on any applicable tariff, tender, contract, bill of 
lading, or other document covering the shipment.
* * * * *
    Government bill of lading (GBL) means the transportation document 
used as a receipt of goods, evidence of title, and a contract of 
carriage for Government international shipments (see Bill of Lading 
(BOL) definition).
* * * * *
    Transportation document (TD) means any executed document for 
transportation service, such as a bill of lading, a tariff, a tender, a 
contract, a Government Transportation Request (GTR), invoices, paid 
invoices, any transportation bills, or other equivalent documents, 
including electronic documents.
* * * * *
    Transportation service provider (TSP) means any party, person, 
agent, or carrier that provides freight, including household goods, or 
passenger transportation and related services to an agency.
* * * * *

PART 102-118--TRANSPORTATION PAYMENT AND AUDIT

0
3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 102-118 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3726; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 40 U.S.C. 501, et 
seq.; 46 U.S.C. 55305; 49 U.S.C. 40118.

0
4. Revise Sec.  102-118.10 to read as follows:


Sec.  102-118.10  What is a transportation audit?

    A transportation audit is a thorough review and validation of 
transportation related documents and bills. The audit must examine the 
validity, propriety, and conformity of the charges or rates with 
tariffs, quotations, contracts, agreements, or tenders, as appropriate.


Sec.  102-118.15  [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec.  102-118.15 by removing ``or people and/or'' and adding 
``, people or'' in its place.
0
6. Revise Sec.  102-118.20 to read as follows:


Sec.  102-118.20  Who is subject to this part?

    This part applies to all agencies (including the Department of 
Defense) and TSPs defined in Sec.  102-118.35, and wholly-owned 
Government corporations as defined in 31 U.S.C. 101, et seq. and 31 
U.S.C. 9101(3). Your agency is required to incorporate this part into 
its internal regulations.
0
7. Revise Sec. Sec.  102-118.25 and 102-118.30 to read as follows:


Sec.  102-118.25  What must my agency provide to GSA regarding its 
transportation policies?

    As part of the postpayment audit, GSA may request to examine your 
agency's transportation prepayment audit program and policies to verify 
the performance of the prepayment audit. GSA Transportation Audits 
Division may suggest revisions of agencies audit program or policies.


Sec.  102-118.30  Are Government-controlled corporations bound by this 
part?

    This part does not apply to Government-controlled corporations and 
mixed-ownership Government corporations as defined in 31 U.S.C. 9101(1) 
and (2).
0
8. Amend Sec.  102-118.35 by--
0
a. Revising the definition ``Agency'';
0
b. Removing the definition ``Agency claim'';
0
c. Revising the definition ``Bill of lading (BOL)'';
0
d. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions ``Claim'' and 
``Declared value'';
0
e. Revising the definitions ``Document Reference Number (DRN)'', 
``Government bill of lading (GBL)'', ``Government contractor-issued 
charge card'', ``Government Transportation Request (GTR)'', ``Offset'', 
``Overcharge'', ``Postpayment audit'', ``Prepayment audit'', ``Rate 
authority'', ``Reparation'', ``Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)'', 
``Statement of difference'', ``Supplemental bill'', ``Transportation 
document (TD)'' ``Transportation Service'', and ``Transportation 
Service provider (TSP)'';
0
f. Removing the definitions, ``Transportation service provider claim'' 
and ``Virtual GBL (VGBL)''; and
0
g. Revising the ``Note'' at the end of the section. The revised and 
added text reads as follows:


Sec.  102-118.35  What definitions apply to this part?

* * * * *
    Agency means a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United 
States Government (31 U.S.C. 101).
* * * * *
    Bill of lading (BOL), sometimes referred to as a commercial bill of 
lading, but includes a Government bill of lading (GBL), means the 
document used as a receipt of goods, a contract of carriage, and 
documentary evidence of title.
* * * * *
    Claim means--
    (1) Any demand by an agency upon a Transportation Service Provider 
(TSP) for the payment of overcharges, ordinary

[[Page 59097]]

debts, fines, penalties, administrative fees, special charges, and 
interest; or
    (2) Any demand by the TSP for amounts not included in the original 
bill that the TSP believes an agency owes them. This includes amounts 
deducted or offset by an agency; amounts previously refunded by the 
TSP, which is believed to be owed; and any subsequent bills from the 
TSP resulting from a transaction that was prepayment or postpayment 
audited by the GSA Transportation Audits Division.
    Declared value, sometimes referred to as ``released value,'' means 
the assigned value of the cargo for reimbursement purposes and is 
stated in dollars. Declared value may be more or less than the actual 
value of the cargo. The declared value is the maximum amount that could 
be recovered by the agency in the event of loss or damage for the 
shipments of freight and household goods. The statement of declared 
value must be shown on any applicable tariff, tender, contract, bill of 
lading, or other document covering the shipment.
    Document reference number (DRN) means the unique number on a bill 
of lading, Government Transportation Request (GTR), or transportation 
ticket used to track the movement of shipments and individuals.
* * * * *
    Government bill of lading (GBL) means the transportation document 
used as a receipt of goods, evidence of title, and a contract of 
carriage for Government international shipments (see Bill of lading 
(BOL) definition).
    Government contractor-issued charge card means the charge card used 
by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation 
related expenses for which the contractor bills the employee. This is 
different than a centrally billed account paying for official travel 
and transportation related expenses for which the agency is billed.
    Government Transportation Request (GTR) means a Government document 
used to procure common carrier transportation services. A common 
carrier is a carrier offering its services at published rates to all 
persons for interstate transportation. The document obligates the 
Government to pay for transportation services provided.
    Offset means something that serves to counterbalance or to 
compensate for something else. These are funds owed to a TSP that are 
not released by the agency but instead used to repay the agency for a 
debt incurred by the TSP.
* * * * *
    Overcharge means those charges for transportation that exceed those 
applicable under the executed agreement for services such as bill of 
lading (including a GBL), contract, rate tender or a GTR.
    Postpayment audit means an audit of transportation billing 
documents, and all related transportation documents after payment, to 
decide their validity, propriety, and conformity of rates with tariffs, 
quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders. The audit process may 
also include subsequent adjustments and collection actions taken 
against a TSP by the Government (31 U.S.C. 3726).
    Prepayment audit means an audit of transportation billing documents 
before payment to determine their validity, propriety, and conformity 
of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders 
(31 U.S.C. 3726).
* * * * *
    Rate authority means the document that establishes the legal 
charges for a transportation shipment. Charges included in a rate 
authority are those rates, fares, and charges for transportation and 
related services contained in tariffs, tenders, contracts, bills of 
lading, and other equivalent documents.
* * * * *
    Reparation means a payment to or from an agency to correct an 
improper transportation billing involving a TSP. Improper routing, 
overcharges, or duplicate payments may cause such improper billing. 
This is different from a payment to settle a claim for loss and damage.
    Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is the unique four-letter code 
used to identify American-based motor transportation companies assigned 
by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. Their Web site 
address is http://www.NMFTA.org.
    Statement of difference means a statement issued by an agency or 
its designated audit contractor during a prepayment audit when there is 
a discrepancy of the TSP amount billed the agency to the TSP proper 
amount for the services. This statement tells the TSP on the invoice 
the amount allowed and the basis for the proper charges. The statement 
also cites the applicable rate references and other data relied on for 
support. The agency issues a separate statement of difference(s) for 
each transportation transaction.
    Supplemental bill means the bill for services that the TSP submits 
to the agency for additional payment of the services provided.
* * * * *
    Transportation document (TD) means any executed document for 
transportation service, such as a bill of lading, a tariff, a tender, a 
contract, a GTR, invoices, paid invoices, any transportation bills, or 
other equivalent documents, including electronic documents.
    Transportation service means service involved in the physical 
movement (from one location to another) of people, household goods, and 
freight by a TSP or a Third Party Logistics (3PL) entity for an agency, 
as well as activities directly relating to or supporting that movement.
    Transportation service provider (TSP) means any party, person, 
agent, or carrier that provides freight, including household goods, or 
passenger transportation and related services to an agency.

    Note to Sec.  102-118.35:  15 U.S.C. 96, et seq., 49 U.S.C. 
13102, et seq., and 41 CFR Chapter 302 Federal Travel Regulation, 
defines additional transportation terms not listed in this section.

0
9. Revise Subpart D to read as follows:
Subpart D--Prepayment Audit of Transportation Services

Agency Requirements for a Transportation Prepayment Audit Program

Sec.
102-118.265 What is a prepayment audit?
102-118.270 Must my agency establish a transportation prepayment 
audit program, and how is it funded?
102-118.275 What must my agency consider when developing a 
transportation prepayment audit program?
102-118.280 Must all transportation payment records, whether they 
are electronic or paper, undergo a prepayment audit?
102-118.285 What must be included in my agency's transportation 
prepayment audit program?

Agency Requirements With Transportation Service Providers

102-118.290 Must my agency notify the TSP of any adjustment to the 
TSP bill?
102-118.295 Does my agency transportation prepayment audit program 
need to establish appeal procedures?
102-118.300 What must my agency do if the TSP disputes the findings 
and my agency cannot resolve the dispute?
102-118.305 What information must be on all transportation payment 
records that have completed my agency's prepayment audit?
102-118.310 What does the GSA Transportation Audits Division 
consider when verifying an agency prepayment audit program?
102-118.315 How does my agency contact the GSA Transportation Audits 
Division?
102-118.320 What action should my agency take if the agency's 
transportation prepayment audits program changes?

[[Page 59098]]

Agency Certifying and Disbursing Officers

102-118.325 Does establishing an agency Chief Financial Officer-
approved transportation prepayment audit program change the 
responsibilities of the certifying officers?
102-118.330 Does a transportation prepayment audit waiver change any 
liabilities of the certifying officer?
102-118.335 What relief from liability is available for the 
certifying official under a transportation postpayment audit?
102-118.340 Do the requirements of a transportation prepayment audit 
change the disbursing official's liability for overpayment?
102-118.345 Where does relief from transportation prepayment audit 
liability for certifying, accountable, and disbursing officers 
reside in my agency?

Exemptions and Suspensions of the Mandatory Transportation Prepayment 
Audit Program

102-118.350 What agency has the authority to grant an exemption from 
the transportation prepayment audit requirement?
102-118.355 How does my agency apply for an exemption from a 
transportation prepayment audit requirement?
102-118.360 How long will GSA take to respond to an exemption 
request from a transportation prepayment audit requirement?
102-118.365 Can my agency renew an exemption from the transportation 
prepayment audit requirements?
102-118.370 Are my agency's prepayment audited transportation 
documentation subject to periodic postpayment audit oversight from 
the GSA Transportation Audits Division?
102-118.375 Can GSA suspend my agency's transportation prepayment 
audit program?

Subpart D--Prepayment Audit of Transportation Services

Agency Requirements for a Transportation Prepayment Audit Program


Sec.  102-118.265  What is a prepayment audit?

    Prepayment audit means a review of transportation documentation 
before payment to determine their validity, propriety, and conformity 
of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders. 
Prepayment auditing by your agency will detect and eliminate billing 
errors before payment (31 U.S.C. 3726).


Sec.  102-118.270  Must my agency establish a transportation prepayment 
audit program, and how is it funded?

    (a) Yes, under 31 U.S.C. 3726, your agency is required to establish 
a transportation prepayment audit program. GSA recommends your agency's 
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) approve the prepayment audit program.
    (b) Your agency must pay for the prepayment audit program from 
those funds appropriated for transportation services.


Sec.  102-118.275  What must my agency consider when developing a 
transportation prepayment audit program?

    (a) Your agency's transportation prepayment audit program must 
consider all of the methods that your agency uses to order and pay for 
passenger, household goods, and freight transportation to include 
Government-issued credit cards (see Sec.  102-118.35 for definition of 
Government issued credit cards).
    (b) Each method of ordering transportation and transportation 
services for passenger, household goods, and freight transportation may 
require a different kind of prepayment audit process. The manner in 
which your agency orders or procures transportation services determines 
how and by whom the bill for those services will be presented. Your 
agency should ensure that each TSP bill or employee travel voucher 
contains enough information for the prepayment audit to determine which 
contract or rate tender is used and that the type and quantity of any 
additional services are clearly delineated.
    (c) The prepayment audit cannot be conducted by the same firm who 
is providing transportation services for the agency, such as a move 
manager. Contracts with charge card companies that provide prepayment 
audit services are a valid option. The agency can choose to--
    (1) Create an internal prepayment audit program;
    (2) Contract directly with a prepayment audit service provider;
    (3) Use the services of a prepayment audit contractor under GSA's 
multiple award schedule covering audit and financial management 
services; or
    (4) Use a Third-Party Payment System or charge card company that 
includes prepayment audit functions, such as Syncada and Payport 
Express.
    (d) An appeals process must be established for a transportation 
service provider (TSP) to appeal any reduction in the amount billed. It 
is recommended the agency establish an electronic appeal process that 
will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official for determination 
of the claim.
    (e) A process to ensure that all agency transportation procurement 
and related documents including contracts and tenders are submitted to 
GSA Transportation Audits Division.
    (f) Use of GSA Transportation Audits Division's Prepayment Audit 
Program template is recommended. If the template is not used, provide 
same information listed on the template to GSA Transportation Audits 
Division.


Sec.  102-118.280  Must all transportation payment records, whether 
they are electronic or paper, undergo a prepayment audit?

    Yes, all transportation bills and payment records, whether they are 
electronic or paper, must undergo a prepayment audit with the following 
exceptions:
    (a) Your agency's prepayment audit program uses a statistical 
sampling technique of the bills. If your agency chooses to use 
statistical sampling, all bills must be
    (1) At or below the Comptroller General specified limit of 
$2,500.00 (31 U.S.C. 3521(b)); and
    (2) In compliance with the U.S. Government Accountability Office 
Using Statistical Sampling (GAO/PEMD-10.1.6), Rev. 1992, Chapter 7 
Random Selection Procedures obtainable from http://www.gao.gov; or
    (b) The Administrator of General Services grants your agency a 
specific exemption from the prepayment audit requirement which may 
include bills determined to be below your agency's threshold, mode or 
modes of transportation, or for an agency or subagency.


Sec.  102-118.285  What must be included in an agency's transportation 
prepayment audit program?

    The agency prepayment audit program must include--
    (a) The agency's CFO approval of the transportation prepayment 
audit program and submission to GSA Transportation Audits Division;
    (b) Compliance with the Prompt Payment Act (31 U.S.C. 3901, et 
seq.);
    (c) Assurance that each TSP bill or employee travel voucher 
contains appropriate information for the prepayment audit to determine 
which contract or rate tender is used and that the type and quantity of 
any additional services are clearly delineated;
    (d) Verification of all transportation bills against filed rates 
and charges before payment;
    (e)(1) A process to forward all transportation documentation (TD) 
monthly to the GSA Transportation Audits Division. GSA Transportation 
Audits Division can provide your agency a Prepayment Audit Program with 
a monthly reporting template upon request at AskAudits@gsa.gov (see 
Sec.  102-118.35 for definition of TD).
    (2) GSA will store paid transportation bills under the General 
Records Schedule 9, Travel and Transportation

[[Page 59099]]

(36 CFR Chapter XII, 1228.22), which requires keeping records for 3 
years. GSA will arrange for storage of any document requiring special 
handling, such as bankruptcy and court cases. These bills will be 
retained pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3309 until claims have been settled;
    (f) Establish procedures in which transportation bills not subject 
to prepayment audit, such as bills for unused tickets and charge card 
billings, are handled separately and are also forwarded monthly to the 
GSA Transportation Audits Division;
    (g) A minimum dollar threshold for transportation bills subject to 
audit;
    (h) For transportation payments made through cost reimbursable 
contracts, the agency must include a statement in the contract or rate 
tender that the contractor shall submit to the address and in the 
electronic format identified for prepayment audit, transportation 
documents which show that the United States will assume freight charges 
that were paid by the contractor. Cost reimbursable contractors shall 
only submit for audit bills of lading with freight shipment charges 
exceeding $100.00. Bills under $100.00 shall be retained on-site by the 
contractor and made available for on-site Government audits (Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.247-67);
    (i) Require your agency's paying office to offset, if directed by 
GSA's Transportation Audits Division, debts from amounts owed to the 
TSP within the 3 years (31 U.S.C. 3726 (b));
    (j) Complete accurate audits of all transportation bills and notify 
the TSP of any adjustment within 7 calendar days of receipt of the 
bill;
    (k) Establish an appeals process in the approved prepayment audit 
program for a TSP to appeal any reduction in the amount billed. It is 
recommended that the agency establish an electronic appeal process that 
will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official for determination 
of the claim. Your agency must complete the review of the appeal and 
inform the TSP either electronically or in writing the agency 
determination within 30 calendar days.
    (1) Create accurate notices and agency procedures for notifying the 
TSPs with a detailed description of the reasons for any full or partial 
rejection of the stated charges on the invoice. An accurate notice must 
include the TSP's invoice number, the billed amount, Taxpayer 
identification number (TIN), standard carrier alpha code (SCAC) or 
other agency unique identifier for the carrier, the charges calculated 
by the agency, the specific reasons including applicable rate authority 
for the rejection, and information of the appeal process; and
    (2) Implement a unique agency numbering system to handle commercial 
paper and practices (see Sec.  102-118.55 for information on 
administrative procedures your agency must establish).

Agency Requirements With Transportation Service Providers


Sec.  102-118.290  Must my agency notify the TSP of any adjustment to 
the TSP bill?

    (a) Yes, your agency must notify the TSP of any adjustment to the 
TSP bill either electronically or in writing within seven calendar days 
of the agency receipt of the bill.
    (b) This notice must refer to the--
    (1) TSP's bill number;
    (2) Agency name;
    (3) TSP's TIN;
    (4) SCAC or other agency identifier for the carrier, such as the 
Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAC) number;
    (5) Document reference number (DRN);
    (6) Date invoice submitted;
    (7) Amount billed;
    (8) Date invoice was approved for payment;
    (9) Date and amount agency paid;
    (10) Payment location number and agency organization name;
    (11) Payment voucher number;
    (12) Complete contract, tender or tariff authority, including item 
or section number; and
    (13) Complete information on the agency appeal process.
    (c) A TSP must submit claims to the agency within three years under 
the guidelines established in subpart F of this part.


Sec.  102-118.295  Does my agency transportation prepayment audit 
program need to establish appeal procedures?

    Yes, your agency must establish, in the approved prepayment audit 
program, an appeals process for a TSP to appeal any reduction in the 
amount billed. It is recommended the agency establish an electronic 
appeal process that will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official 
for determination of the claim. Your agency must complete the review of 
the appeal and inform the TSP of the agency determination within 30 
calendar days of the receipt of the appeal, either electronically or in 
writing.


Sec.  102-118.300  What must my agency do if the TSP disputes the 
findings and my agency cannot resolve the dispute?

    (a) If your agency is unable to resolve the disputed amount with 
the TSP, your agency must submit, within 30 calendar days, all relevant 
transportation documentation associated with the dispute, including a 
complete billing history and the appropriation or fund charged, to GSA 
Transportation Audits Division by email at AskAudits@gsa.gov, or by 
mail to: U.S. General Services Administration, 1800 F St. NW., 3rd 
Floor, Mail Hub 3400, Washington, DC 20405.
    (b) The GSA Transportation Audits Division will review the appeal 
of an agency's final, full, or partial denial of a claim and issue a 
decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of appeal.
    (c) A TSP must submit claims to the agency within three years under 
the guidelines established in subpart F of this part.


Sec.  102-118.305  What information must be on all transportation 
payment records that have completed my agency's prepayment audit?

    (a) The following information must be annotated on all 
transportation payment records, electronically or on paper, that have 
completed your agency's prepayment audit and for submission to GSA 
Transportation Audits Division:
    (1) The date the bill was received from a TSP;
    (2) A TSP's bill number;
    (3) Your agency name;
    (4) DRN;
    (5) Amount billed;
    (6) Date invoice was approved for payment;
    (7) Date and amount agency paid;
    (8) Payment location code number and office or organization name;
    (9) Payment voucher number;
    (10) Complete contract, tender or tariff authority, including item 
or section number;
    (11) The TSP's TIN;
    (12) The TSP's SCAC or other agency identifier for the carrier, 
such as the DODAC number;
    (13) The auditor's authorization code or initials; and
    (14) The date and copy of any statement of difference sent to the 
TSP.
    (b) Your agency can find added guidance in the ``U.S. Government 
Freight Transportation Handbook.'' This handbook is located at 
www.gsa.gov/transaudits.


Sec.  102-118.310  What does the GSA Transportation Audits Division 
consider when verifying an agency prepayment audit program?

    GSA Transportation Audit Division bases verification of agency 
prepayment audit programs on objective cost-savings, paperwork 
reductions, current audit standards, and other positive improvements, 
as well as adherence to the guidelines listed in this part.

[[Page 59100]]

Sec.  102-118.315  How does my agency contact the GSA Transportation 
Audits Division?

    Your agency may contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division at 
AskAudit@gsa.gov.


Sec.  102-118.320  What action should my agency take if the agency's 
transportation prepayment audits program changes?

    (a) If your agency's transportation prepayment audit program 
changes in any way to include changes in prepayment auditors, your 
agency must submit the CFO-approved revised transportation prepayment 
audit program to GSA Transportation Audits Division via email at 
AskAudit@gsa.gov, Subject line: Agency PPA-Revised.
    (b) If GSA determines the agency's approved plan is insufficient, 
GSA will contact the agency CFO to inform of the prepayment audit 
program deficiencies and request corrective action and resubmission to 
GSA Transportation Audits Division.

Agency Certifying and Disbursing Officers


Sec.  102-118.325  Does establishing an agency Chief Financial Officer-
approved transportation prepayment audit program change the 
responsibilities of the certifying officers?

    No, in a prepayment audit program, the official certifying a 
transportation voucher is held liable for verifying transportation 
rates, freight classifications, and other information provided on a 
transportation billing instrument or transportation request undergoing 
a prepayment audit (31 U.S.C. 3528).


Sec.  102-118.330  Does a transportation prepayment audit waiver change 
any liabilities of the certifying officer?

    Yes, a certifying official is not personally liable for verifying 
transportation rates, freight classifications, or other information 
provided on a bill of lading or passenger transportation request when 
the Administrator of General Services or designee waives the prepayment 
audit requirement and your agency uses postpayment audits.


Sec.  102-118.335  What relief from liability is available for the 
certifying official under a transportation postpayment audit?

    The agency counsel relieves a certifying official from liability 
for transportation overpayments in cases where postpayment is the 
approved method of auditing; and
    (a) The overpayment occurred solely because the administrative 
review before payment did not verify transportation rates; and
    (b) The overpayment was the result of using improper transportation 
rates or freight classifications or the failure to deduct the correct 
amount under a land grant law or agreement.


Sec.  102-118.340  Do the requirements of a transportation prepayment 
audit change the disbursing official's liability for overpayment?

    No, the disbursing official has a liability for overpayments on all 
transportation bills subject to prepayment audit (31 U.S.C. 3322).


Sec.  102-118.345  Where does relief from transportation prepayment 
audit liability for certifying, accountable, and disbursing officers 
reside in my agency?

    Your agency's counsel has the authority to relieve liability and 
give advance opinions on liability issues to certifying, accountable, 
and disbursing officers (31 U.S.C. 3527).

Exemptions and Suspensions of the Mandatory Transportation Prepayment 
Audit Program


Sec.  102-118.350  What agency has the authority to grant an exemption 
from the transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    Only the Administrator of General Services or their designee has 
the authority to grant an exemption for a specific time period from the 
prepayment audit requirement. The Administrator may exempt bills, a 
particular mode or modes of transportation, or an agency or subagency 
from a prepayment audit and verification and in lieu thereof require a 
postpayment audit, based on cost effectiveness, public interest, or 
other factors the Administrator considers appropriate (31 U.S.C. 
3726(a)(2)).


Sec.  102-118.355  How does my agency apply for an exemption from a 
transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    Your agency must submit a request for an exemption from the 
requirement to perform transportation prepayment audits by email to 
GSA-OGP-Transportationpolicy@gsa.gov, Subject Line: Prepayment Audit 
Exemption Request. The agency exemption request must explain in detail 
why the request is submitted based on cost effectiveness, public 
interest, or other factors the Administrator considers appropriate, 
such as transportation modes, dollar thresholds, adversely affecting 
the agency's mission, or is not feasible (31 U.S.C. 3726(a)(2)).


Sec.  102-118.360  How long will GSA take to respond to an exemption 
request from a transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    GSA will respond to the exemption from the transportation 
prepayment audit requirement request within 180 calendar days from the 
date of receipt.


Sec.  102-118.365  Can my agency renew an exemption from the 
transportation prepayment audit requirements?

    Your agency exemption to the transportation prepayment audit 
requirements does not exceed the period granted in the GSA issued 
exemption letter. If your agency determines that it will desire another 
exemption for the transportation prepayment audit requirements, your 
agency must submit this request a minimum of six months before the 
current exemption period expires.


Sec.  102-118.370  Are my agency's prepayment audited transportation 
documentation subject to periodic postpayment audit oversight from the 
GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    Yes, all your agency's prepayment audited transportation documents 
are subject to the GSA Transportation Audits Division postpayment audit 
oversight. Upon request, GSA Transportation Audits Division will 
provide a report analyzing your agency's prepayment audit program.


Sec.  102-118.375  Can GSA suspend my agency's transportation 
prepayment audit program?

    (a) Yes, the Director of the GSA Transportation Audits Division may 
suspend your agency's transportation prepayment audit program until the 
agency corrects their prepayment audit program deficiencies. This 
suspension may be in whole or in part. If GSA suspends your agency's 
transportation prepayment audit and GSA assumes responsibility for 
auditing an agencies prepayment audit program, the agency will 
reimburse GSA for the expense.
    (b) This suspension determination is based on identification of a 
systematic or frequent failure of the agency's transportation 
prepayment audit program to--
    (1) Conduct a prepayment audit of your agency's transportation 
bills;
    (2) Abide by the terms of the Prompt Payment Act (31 U.S.C. 3901, 
et seq.);
    (c) Adjudicate TSP claims disputing prepayment audit positions of 
the agency regularly within 30 calendar days of receipt;
    (d) Follow Comptroller General decisions, Civilian Board of 
Contract Appeals decisions, the Federal Management Regulation and GSA

[[Page 59101]]

instructions or precedents about substantive and procedure matters; 
and/or
    (e) Provide information and data or to cooperate with on-site 
inspections necessary to conduct a quality assurance review.
0
10. Revise Subpart E to read as follows:
Subpart E--Postpayment Transportation Audits
Sec.
102-118.400 What is a transportation postpayment audit?
102-118.405 Who conducts a transportation postpayment audit?
102-118.410 If agencies perform the mandatory transportation 
prepayment audit, will this eliminate the requirement for a 
transportation postpayment audit conducted by GSA?
102-118.415 Can the Administrator of General Services exempt the 
transportation postpayment audit requirement?
102-118.420 Is my agency allowed to perform a postpayment audit on 
our transportation documents?
102-118.425 Is my agency required to forward all transportation 
documents to the GSA Transportation Audits Division, and what 
information must be on these documents?
102-118.430 What is the process the GSA Transportation Audits 
Division employs to conduct a postpayment audit?
102-118.435 What are the transportation postpayment audit roles and 
responsibilities of the GSA Transportation Audits Division?
102-118.440 Does my agency pay for a transportation postpayment 
audit conducted by the GSA Transportation Audits Division?
102-118.445 How do I contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

Subpart E--Postpayment Transportation Audits


Sec.  102-118.400  What is a transportation postpayment audit?

    Postpayment audit means an audit of transportation billing 
documents after payment to decide their validity, propriety, and 
conformity of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or 
tenders. The audit may also include subsequent adjustments and 
collections actions taken against a transportation service provider 
(TSP) by the Government (31 U.S.C. 3726).


Sec.  102-118.405  Who conducts a transportation postpayment audit?

    The Administrator of General Services (GSA) has a congressionally 
mandated responsibility under 31 U.S.C. 3726 to perform oversight on 
transportation bills. The GSA Transportation Audits Division 
accomplishes this oversight by conducting postpayment audits of all 
agencies' transportation bills.


Sec.  102-118.410  If agencies perform the mandatory transportation 
prepayment audit, will this eliminate the requirement for a 
transportation postpayment audit conducted by GSA?

    No, agency compliance to the mandatory transportation prepayment 
audit does not eliminate the requirement of the transportation 
postpayment audit conducted by GSA (31 U.S.C. 3726).


Sec.  102-118.415  Can the Administrator of General Services exempt the 
transportation postpayment audit requirement?

    Yes, the Administrator of General Services or designee may exempt, 
for a specified time, an agency or subagency from the GSA 
transportation postpayment audit oversight requirements of this 
subpart. The Administrator can also exempt modes (31 U.S.C. 3726).


Sec.  102-118.420  Is my agency allowed to perform a postpayment audit 
on our transportation documents?

    No, your agency may not perform a transportation postpayment audit 
unless specifically directed to do so by the Administrator in lieu of a 
prepayment audit. Whether such an exemption is granted or not, your 
agency must forward all transportation documents (TD) to GSA for 
postpayment audit (see Sec.  102-118.35 for definition of TD).


Sec.  102-118.425  Is my agency required to forward all transportation 
documents to GSA Transportation Audits Division, and what information 
must be on these documents?

    (a) Yes, your agency must provide all TDs to GSA Transportation 
Audits Division (see Sec.  102-118.35 for definition of TD).
    (b) The following information must be annotated on all TDs and 
bills that have completed your agency's prepayment audit for submission 
to GSA Transportation Audits Division:
    (1) The date the bill was received from a TSP;
    (2) A TSP's bill number;
    (3) Your agency name;
    (4) A Document Reference Number (DRN);
    (5) Amount billed;
    (6) Date invoice was approved for payment;
    (7) Date and amount agency paid;
    (8) Payment location code number and office name;
    (9) Payment voucher number;
    (10) Complete contract, tender, or tariff authority, including item 
or section number;
    (11) The TSP's taxpayer identification number (TIN);
    (12) The TSP's standard carrier alpha code (SCAC) or other agency 
unique identifier for the carrier such as the Department of Defense 
Activity Address Code (DODAC) number;
    (13) The auditor's full name, email address, contact telephone 
number, and authorization code; and
    (14) A copy of any statement of difference sent to the TSP.
    (c) Your agency can find additional guidance in the ``U.S. 
Government Freight Transportation Handbook.'' This handbook is located 
at www.gsa.gov/transaudits.


Sec.  102-118.430  What is the process the GSA Transportation Audits 
Division employs to conduct a postpayment audit?

    The GSA Transportation Audits Division:
    (a) Audits select TSP bills after payment;
    (b) Audits select TSP bills before payment as needed to protect the 
Government's interest;
    (c) Examines, settles, and adjusts accounts involving payment for 
transportation and related services for the account of agencies;
    (d) Adjudicates and settles transportation claims by and against 
agencies;
    (e) Offsets an overcharge by any TSP from an amount subsequently 
found to be due that TSP;
    (f) Issues a Notice of Overcharge stating that a TSP owes a debt to 
the agency. This notice states the amount paid and the basis for the 
proper charge for the document reference number (DRN), and cites 
applicable contract, tariff, or tender, along with other data relied on 
to support the overcharge; and
    (g) Issues a GSA Notice of Indebtedness when a TSP owes an ordinary 
debt to an agency. This notice states the basis for the debt, the TSP's 
rights, interest, penalty, and other results of nonpayment. The debt is 
due immediately and is subject to interest charges, penalties, and 
administrative cost under 31 U.S.C. 3717.


Sec.  102-118.435  What are the transportation postpayment audit roles 
and responsibilities of the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    (a) The GSA Transportation Audits Division role is to perform the 
oversight responsibility of transportation prepayment and postpayment 
granted to the Administrator. The GSA Transportation Audits Division 
will--
    (1) Examine and analyze transportation documents and payments to 
discover their validity, relevance and conformity with tariffs, 
quotations, contracts, agreements, or tenders and make adjustments to 
protect the interest of an agency;

[[Page 59102]]

    (2) Examine, adjudicate, and settle transportation claims by and 
against the agency;
    (3) Collect from TSPs by refund, setoff, offset, or other means, 
the amounts determined to be due the agency;
    (4) Adjust, terminate, or suspend debts due on TSP overcharges;
    (5) Prepare reports to the Attorney General of the United States 
with recommendations about the legal and technical bases available for 
use in prosecuting or defending suits by or against an agency and 
provide technical, fiscal, and factual data from relevant records;
    (6) Provide transportation specialists and lawyers to serve as 
expert witnesses; assist in pretrial conferences; draft pleadings, 
orders, and briefs; and participate as requested in connection with 
transportation suits by or against an agency;
    (7) Review agency policies, programs, and procedures to determine 
their adequacy and effectiveness in the audit of freight or passenger 
transportation payments, and review related fiscal and transportation 
practices;
    (8) Furnish information on rates, fares, routes, and related 
technical data upon request;
    (9) Inform an agency of irregular shipping routing practices, 
inadequate commodity descriptions, excessive transportation cost 
authorizations, and unsound principles employed in traffic and 
transportation management; and
    (10) Confer with individual TSPs or related groups and associations 
presenting specific modes of transportation to resolve mutual problems 
concerning technical and accounting matters, and providing information 
on requirements.
    (b) The Administrator of General Services may provide 
transportation audit and related technical assistance services, on a 
reimbursable basis, to any other agency. Such reimbursements may be 
credited to the appropriate revolving fund or appropriation from which 
the expenses were incurred (31 U.S.C. 3726(j)).


Sec.  102-118.440  Does my agency pay for a transportation postpayment 
audit conducted by the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    The GSA Transportation Audits Division does not charge agencies a 
fee for conducting the transportation postpayment audit. Transportation 
postpayment audits expenses are financed from overpayments collected 
from the TSP's bills previously paid by the agency and similar type of 
refunds. However, if a postpayment audit is conducted in lieu of a 
prepayment audit at the request of an agency, or if there are 
additional services required, GSA may charge the agency.


Sec.  102-118.445  How do I contact the GSA Transportation Audits 
Division?

    You may contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division by email at 
AskAudits@gsa.gov.

[FR Doc. 2015-24858 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-14-P