DFAS Expands Web-based Financial Services for DoD Personnel
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2002 DoD civilian employees can access even more financial information services through an improved Defense Finance and Accounting Service Internet site.
Upgrades made in December 2001 to the agency's computerized Employee/Member Self-Service system now allow DoD civilians to make online changes to their state tax withholding; to start, change and stop U.S. Savings Bond purchases; and to view and print 2001 W-2 forms, according to Jim Pitt, deputy director of DFAS electronic commerce, military and civilian pay services.
"We want to empower our military and civilian employees to have greater control over their payroll records," Pitt explained, adding that DFAS officials anticipate that military members will have online access to their W-2s next year.
Using the self-service Web site, Pitt noted, is a more efficient way of doing business that's more accurate, saves paper and time, and reduces redundancy. Instead of having administrative specialists re-input employee-provided information, employees can use the system to enter their data themselves, he said.
Another new DFAS self-service Web link, Travel Advice of Payment, allows military and civilian personnel to view and print their paid travel vouchers online, Pitt noted. At first, only payments made after Oct. 2, 2001, by the agency's Cleveland, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, centers will be available. Other payment locations will be made available soon.
Military members and civilians can also use the Web site, http://www.dfas.mil/emss/, to stop the mailing of their Leave and Earnings Statements, Pitt said. Customers now, he noted, can simply print the statements that have been posted online.
Pitt said the DFAS Web site offered a variety of services to military and civilian personnel even before the December upgrades. They've been able to access, view and print their electronic Leave and Earnings Statements; change federal tax withholding; and change direct deposit information.
Civilians can also use the Web site to file address changes and start, stop, or change allotments, he added.
DFAS serves roughly 5.5 million active duty and reserve military, retired military, annuitants (such as widows) and DoD civilians, Pitt remarked.
The improved Web site, he noted, greatly enhances service for those customers. "It is a user-friendly site and offers things that people have been asking for. We've had a lot of positive feedback from our customers," he concluded.
To access the Employee/Member Self-Service system, customers need a custom personal identification number that can be obtained by calling the system Customer Support Unit at 1-800-390-2348.