United States General Accounting Office Washington United States
Progress has been made in reengineering defense transportation financial management processes through a reform initiative. The goal of this initiative is to reduce costs, eliminate government-unique documentation, reduce data requirements, improve accuracy, and adapt best commercial practices. The Department has proposed two separate efforts to accomplish the initiative 1 use an electronic payment system, referred toas PowerTrack, that would also eliminate the use of government-unique documentation andor 2 use contractors through contracting out to third-party logistics providers to perform traffic management functions, including transportation payment, to achieve cost savings and other benefits. The electronic payment system facilitates the replacement of cumbersome government-unique documentation with simplified commercial documentation, and the Department has already begun using the electronic payment system at 69 military installations as of September 1, 1999. The benefits of electronically paying and reconciling transportation bills include quicker carrier payment, reduced billing documentation, easier and more reliable reconciliation of billing disputes, reduced workload, and some savings from a reduction in the number of transactions processed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Regarding the second effort, the Department plans to test whether the payment function, plus other transportation functions, can be contracted to a third-party logistics provider to reduce infrastructure and achieve cost efficiencies. Although the electronic payment system is being implemented now, the commercial contract initiative has not yet begun the prototype testing phase.