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AETC, Little Rock take on government travel card

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The holidays are fast approaching, and the Air Education and Training Command Commander Gen. William R. Looney III has challenged his commanders and their Airmen to "break" the traditional rise in government travel card delinquencies during this time of the year.

With the general's leadership focus on reduced delinquencies, AETC's rate has fallen dramatically and is routinely the lowest of all major commands in the Air Force.

Based on simple analysis of the data, the holiday season has proven to be a difficult time, especially during December. Over the last four years, AETC's December delinquency rate has been twice as high as the rest of the year. This phenomenon has come to be known as the "Holiday Spike." "In fact, the command has never met the goal in the month of December," said Maj. Eric Bradshaw, AETC Chief of the Finance Branch.
Little Rock Air Force Base is also affected by the "Holiday Spike," but 2nd Lt. Jennifer Rock, Little Rock Air Force Base government travel card coordinator, said it can be easily avoided.

"Paying the bill is easy; (travelers) can go to www.myeasypayment.com and pay their bill," she said. "We've been getting more and more people being late on their payments. Even though it's the government's card, members are still required to pay the bill off (on time). There is no reason people should be late with their payments."

General Looney has expressed his high satisfaction with AETC's tremendous strides to reduce the amount of GTC delinquencies. The overall objective is to achieve the Department of Defense's goal of two percent or lower delinquency. Vance AFB was recently lauded by the Air Force Comptroller for its record-setting 17-month run at zero percent. Other bases are following Vance's lead. There are steps everyone can take to help avoid the spike this year.

"The easiest way to avoid this is for travelers to pay their bills when they're due," the major said. "They must also file their travel vouchers within five days of returning from a TDY and use split disbursement for all outstanding GTC charges (mandatory). If the TDY exceeds 30 days, travelers should use the accrual voucher process to pay their GTC bill for all outstanding charges through that point in the TDY."

Following these simple steps will keep delinquencies low and help AETC to smash the "Holiday Spike."

For additional information, contact your unit agency program coordinator or the base GTC representative in the comptroller squadron.

"When the goal changed to two percent, there weren't many people who thought we'd get there," Gen Looney said. "But, with the hard work of our Airmen and the leadership of our commanders, below two percent has become the standard for the command. With their continued efforts, I am confident we can break this holiday trend this year."

"The spike occurs for various reasons," Major Bradshaw said. "One reason is some travelers may defer paying their bill to increase the amount of funds they have available for personal reasons during the holiday season. Additionally, travelers may delay filing their settlement vouchers due to holiday leave plans."

There are steps everyone can take to help avoid the spike this year.

"The easiest way to avoid this is for travelers to pay their bills when they're due," the major said. "They must also file their travel vouchers within five days of returning from a TDY and use split disbursement for all outstanding GTC charges (mandatory). If the TDY exceeds 30 days, travelers should use the accrual voucher process to pay their GTC bill for all outstanding charges through that point in the TDY."

Following these simple steps will keep delinquencies low and help AETC to smash the "Holiday Spike." For additional information, contact your unit agency program coordinator or the base GTC representative in the comptroller squadron.

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