Summary: H.R.930 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/01/1998)

Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 - Authorizes the Administrator of General Services to require that Federal employees use the travel charge card established pursuant to the United States Travel and Transportation Payment and Expense Control System or any Federal contractor-issued travel charge card issued for all payments of expenses of official Government travel. Allows the Administrator to exempt any payment, person, type or class of payments, or type or class of personnel from any requirement established under the preceding sentence in certain cases. Permits the head of a Federal agency to make such an exemption determined to be necessary in the agency's interest (requires notification within 30 days to the Administrator stating the reasons for the exemption). Amends the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 to permit the disclosure of any financial record or information to a Government authority in conjunction with a Federal contractor-issued travel charge card issued for official Government travel.

Allows the head of any Federal agency or a disbursing official, under regulations issued by the Administrator and upon written request of a Federal contractor, on the contractor's behalf, to collect by deduction from the amount of pay owed to an employee of the agency any amount of funds the employee owes to the contractor as a result of delinquencies not disputed by the employee on a travel charge card issued for payment of expenses incurred in connection with official Government travel. Limits the amount deducted from the pay owed to an employee to 15 percent of the employee's net pay for that pay period, except that a greater percentage may be deducted upon the written consent of the employee.

Directs the Administrator to promulgate specified regulations implementing the use of travel charge card established pursuant to the U.S. Travel and Transportation System and Expense Control System, or any Federal contractor-issued travel card, mandatory for all payments of expenses of official Government travel.

Mandates two separate reports to the Congress on agency compliance with requirements and regulations that have been issued. Requires each report to be based on a sampling survey of agencies that have expended more than $5 million during the previous fiscal year on travel and transportation payments, including payments for employee relocation. Directs the head of an agency to provide to the Administrator the necessary information in a format prescribed by the Administrator and approved by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Requires an agency to reimburse an employee for allowable travel expenses within 30 days after submission of a proper voucher and to pay a late fee if it fails to do so.

(Sec. 3) Amends Federal law to revise provisions concerning the responsibilities and potential liabilities of disbursing and certifying officials with respect to transportation expenses.

Requires each agency that receives a bill from a carrier or freight forwarder for transporting an individual or property for the U.S. Government, to verify its correctness (to include transportation rates, freight classifications, or proper combinations thereof), using prepayment audit, prior to payment in accordance with the current requirements and regulations prescribed by the Administrator. Permits the Administrator to 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.

Authorizes the Administrator to conduct pre- or post-payment audits of transportation bills of any Federal agency. Directs the Administrator to adjudicate transportation claims that cannot be resolved by the agency procuring the transportation services, or the carrier or freight-forwarder presenting the bill. Allows a claim only if it is received by the Administrator not later than three years (excluding time of war) after the later of specified dates. Terminates the reporting requirement respecting a report of receipts, disbursements, and transfers on December 31, 1998.

Allows the Administrator to provide transportation audit and related technical assistance services, on a reimbursable basis, to any other agency.

(Sec. 4) Provides for the reimbursement of Federal, State, and local income taxes incurred by a Federal employee on money received for travel or transportation expenses.

(Sec. 5) Allows an agency, under a travel expenses test program or a relocation expenses test program which the Administrator determines to be in the interest of the Government and approves, to pay through the proper disbursing official, for a specified period, any necessary travel or relocation expenses in lieu of any payment otherwise authorized or required. Requires an agency to include in any request to the Administrator for approval of such a test program an analysis of the expected costs and benefits and a set of criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Mandates a report to the Administrator and the appropriate congressional committees. Limits the number of test programs that may be conducted simultaneously.

(Sec. 6) Amends Federal law concerning travel and transportation expenses to define the terms: (1) "United States"; and (2) "Foreign Service of the United States."

(Sec. 7) Amends the Federal Employee Travel Reform Act of 1996 to direct the Administrator to prescribe regulations concerning payment for relocation expenses.