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Mandatory Travel Card Date Extended to May 1

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2000 – Service members and DoD civilians now have until May 1 before use of the government travel credit card is mandatory, DoD officials said today.

DoD is one of a number of agencies given two extra months to implement the program, said Nelson Toye, DoD’s deputy chief financial officer.

William J. Lynn, undersecretary of defense (comptroller), signed the memorandum announcing the extension March 1.

“Within DoD the primary reason for the delay is that we were so late receiving the guidance,” Toye said. “Our components came back to us and asked for an extension. When we applied to the General Services Administration they were willing to grant us the extension.”

Toye said that GSA officials made it clear there “would be no more extensions.”

Toye’s guidance in the meantime to DoD finance officials is to implement the travel card program to the extent possible.

He said the extension does not mean Congress is rethinking the policy. It has just taken longer than expected for government agencies to work out the details.

DoD issued new policies in mid-February to implement travel card requirements in an amendment to the Federal Travel Regulation published by the GSA in the Jan. 19 Federal Register. The amendment implements requirements in the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998.

The Defense Department began using travel cards in 1983 to pay for lodging, transportation, rental cars and other allowable expenses.

The current contractor is Bank of America VISA.

The new travel card rules will be included in Volume 9, "Travel Policy and Procedures," of the DoD Financial Management Regulation DoD 7000.14-R.

For more information on DoD's travel card program, visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Web site at www.dfas.mil or the Bank of America site at www.bankofamerica.com/government.

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