Safety & Compliance

Government Trying To Reduce Freight Paperwork

February 25, 2000

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The General Services Administration is hoping to reducing paperwork and cost by simplifying the rules of freight delivery to government agencies.

One major change, mandated by law, is a requirement that government agencies audit transportation invoices before they’re paid. Each agency will set up its own pre-payment audit and appeals program which must be approved by GSA. One requirement for any plan is that transportation providers be notified of discrepancies within 7 days after receipt of the bill. Appeals must be acted on within 20 days. Post-payment auditing will still be allowed in special circumstances.
GSA is encouraging agencies to use commercial payment practices such as commercial bills of lading and electronic payment “to the maximum extent possible” and will phase out use of the Government Bill of Lading for domestic freight and household goods shipments by September 30, 2001.
In order to give agencies updated materials that are easier to read, GSA is moving transportation payment and audit requirements from Federal Property Management Regulations to the Federal Management Regulation. FMR, it says, is written in plain language and uses a question and answer format to break the information into manageable pieces.
The proposed changes covering transportation payment and audit appeared in the February 22, 2000 Federal Register. Comments are due March 23, 2000. Proposed changes covering transportation and traffic management should be published in the next few days. Go onlinefor more information.

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