Government agencies will now have to audit transportation invoices before they’re paid, a change mandated by federal law. Agencies are also encouraged to use commercial payment practices, including commercial bills of lading and electronic payment, in order to reduce paperwork. The Government Bill of Lading (Forms 1103 and 1203) for domestic freight and household good shipments will be phased out by September 30, 2001.
Individual agencies will be responsible for establishing their own prepayment audit programs, including procedures for handling the first level of an appeal. Carriers must be notified of any billing discrepencancies within 7 days of receipt of a bill. Appeals must be reviewed within 30 days.
GSA has shifted transportation and audit requirements from the Federal Property Management Regulations to the Federal Management Regulation which, the agency says, is easier to read. Rules are written in “plain language” using a question and answer format. A cross-reference in the FPMR will direct readers to the FMR.
Final rules were published in the April 26, 2000, Federal Register.