WASHINGTON ─ In an effort to improve customer support and expedite travel voucher payments, Air Force financial management leaders will mandate standardized use of the Defense Travel System for contingency, exercise and deployment travel, officials said here June 28.
The change will take effect Aug. 1 throughout U.S. Air Forces in Europe and began Air Force-wide July 1. The change will be mostly transparent to the traveler, who will still receive a paper CED order from the personnel readiness unit; however, these orders will now be stamped “Processed in DTS,” reminding the traveler and the local financial services office to file the settlement voucher in DTS, officials added.
“The FSO will continue to support the traveler throughout the entire process,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jesse Stirling, financial management’s enlisted career field manager.
According to USAFE/FM officials, some finance offices within the command have already successfully transitioned their CED processes to DTS.
Finance management officials said this translates to significant reductions in voucher turnaround time; DTS payments average three days, whereas filing a paper voucher averages 8 days.
“Standardized CED travel operations will provide a consistent practice for all Airmen without regard to deployed location or primary duty station,” said Joan Causey, deputy assistant secretary for financial operations.
“Expanding DTS procedures for CED travel to all locations will bring long-range benefits such as increased transparency and timelier travel payments to Airmen.”
Stirling explained the new process will positively impact Airmen in exercises or downrange, allowing them to focus more on the mission and less on getting mired in the administrative side of filing travel claims.
“For example, scheduled partial payments (or accruals) for the duration of the trip will become automatic after the initial payment is loaded into DTS,” Stirling said.
“This new procedure will standardize voucher computation across the Air Force and streamline the filing process for the customer.”
USAFE/FM officials said goal within the command is to ensure readiness for this transition1by ensuring each base has tested its procedures to kick off this change.
Being prepared to implement this change will minimize the impact to the command and maximize the benefits to USAFE Airmen. For more information, contact the base financial services office.