Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The questions below were completed by the agency and provide an overview of their permanent change of station (PCS) services.   To learn more about the business and technology side of their PCS services, please see the additional links at the bottom of the page. 

Question:  Describe your RRC and discuss how it improves the PCS experience for Federal travelers and relocation managers.

The Financial Services Center (FSC) operates as a Franchise Fund providing the highest quality financial and accounting services to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customers and Other Government Agencies (OGAs). In 2004, VA centralized PCS support functions at the FSC in Austin Texas. Our organization is focused on exceeding customer expectations through constant process improvement and automation to improve timeliness and accuracy of services provided.

FSC uses a web-based application, the PCS Travel Portal, designed to automate the steps in processing PCS relocations. The automated process begins with the initiation of an intra-agency transfer request by the gaining Human Resources (HR) Office. The document flows electronically to the employee for the input of critical information required to process the PCS move and then flows to the releasing HR office. Once all electronic signatures are obtained on the authorizing document, the FSC begins the process to obtain approval for discretionary items and accounting string information, counsels the employee on entitlements and obtains the required signatures on the service agreement and the travel authority. Key personnel in the process have immediate access to the current status of the move and critical documents. Future enhancements underway include automation of the claims process and the addition of improved reporting capabilities. Use of this automated process improves efficiency for all personnel involved in the process and reduces the time required to finalize travel authorization documents. In addition, elimination of manual document processing decreases the risks involved in handling personally identifiable employee information

Question:   In general terms, discuss the range of services offered to customer agencies by your RRC.  What do you consider unique, that makes your organization stand out from the others?  What does your solution do best?

The FSC provides an end-to-end PCS solution.  FSC performs the following services: 

1. Provides travel clerk functions including entitlement counseling, preparation and issuance of travel authority, establishment of obligations and advances in our Financial Management System

2. Audits and pays PCS vouchers in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulation

3. Submits data to payroll system of record and reports tax data to the Internal Revenue Service and other taxing authorities

4. Calculates and pays Withholding Tax Allowance to relocating employees

5. Processes Relocation Income Tax Allowance payments

6. Processes bills of collections to travelers as necessary

7. Performs travel advance reviews and required follow-up action

8. Performs PCS obligation reviews to ensure funds are liquidated timely

9. Serves as liaison between the employee and contractors providing relocation services

10. Provides Certified Relocation Professionals to oversee Relocation Services Contract

11. Participates in the Executive Relocation Steering Committee meetings to represent customers’ interests in developing PCS initiatives

FSC is unique in its ability to provide personalized services to our customers.  Our web based application provides the functionality to route intra-agency transfer requests and travel authority documents electronically to obtain required signatures.  Employees, Human Resources, Budget, and Authorizing officials use the application to track the status of each move and to obtain management reports on PCS moves.  Planned enhancements include automation of the claims process.  Our solution provides quality service, automated processes, and timely responses to meet our customers’ needs.

Question: List any partners and/or agencies that assist you in providing your RRC services.

Relocation Management Worldwide and Prudential Relocation.

Question: Briefly describe how you monitor/measure the performance of your RRC.

Establishment of performance metrics is a key element of the agreements FSC negotiates with each customer.  Our current agreements establish metrics for timeliness and accuracy of payment processing.  On a monthly basis, our internal auditors randomly sample payments processed to determine compliance with VA regulations and policies and the FTR.  The results of these audits are posted on our customer website.  FSC conducts a pre-move and post-move customer satisfaction survey of each relocating employee.  Feedback provided by our customers allows FSC to evaluate our current level of service and identify opportunities to enhance services.  We encourage candid and constructive feedback and take immediate action to remedy problems identified by our customers.

Question:  In implementing your RRC, how do you verify that the Federal Travel Regulation (41 CFR Chapters 300 through 304) is followed?

FSC ensures compliance with the Federal Travel Regulation in multiple ways.  Our PCS travel staff members attend annual on-site FTR training conducted by US Department of Agriculture or General Services Administration.  Our goal is to eliminate manual processes associated with processing PCS travel documents including authorizations and claims vouchers.  Our  web-based application, the PCS Travel Portal, is programmed to ensure compliance with the FTR.

Question: Do you consider your RRC services an end-to-end solution?

Response:  Yes
Contact Information
Contact Name: Cheryl Holman
Contact Phone: (512) 460-5204
Contact FAX:    (512) 460-5103

Last Reviewed 2015-06-16