Conduct follow-up

Conduct the proper follow-up to protect the government's interests:

Conduct a prepayment audit and pay the proper amount to the transportation service provider (TSP)

Before paying any transportation invoice, conduct the statutorily required prepayment audit to ensure the invoice is proper. Follow your agency’s policy on whether you perform the prepayment audit or use a contractor to do it. Even when using a contractor to perform prepayment audits, we recommend you periodically do your own audits to verify the accuracy of the contractor’s audit. Pay the invoice in accordance with the Prompt Payment rule and your agency policy. See regulations on transportation payment and audit.

Submit paid invoices to GSA for postpayment audit

Unless GSA has issued an exemption, every agency must submit all paid transportation bills to GSA to perform a postpayment audit, including documentation justifying an underpayment or overpayment. On a monthly basis upload paid invoices to the Transportation Audits Management System (TAMS).

If the shipment is damaged, file a damage claim

The shipper or receiver should file a damage claim with the TSP in a timely manner to demand financial reimbursement due to the loss, shortage, or damage of a shipment. Filing a damage claim with the TSP holds it accountable for fulfilling the contractual shipping requirements. It also preserves taxpayer dollars. The objective is to make the claimant whole or put them in the same position as they would be if the cargo had not been lost or damaged. Liability is generally addressed in the tariff, tender, or contract which will be indicated on the BOL. If liability is not discussed in these documents then the appropriate legal authority applies. TSP liability and filing deadlines, and cargo value vary by mode.

Maintain records

Good recordkeeping gives you up-to-date information about your bills, TSPs, and other transportation data. If an issue arises, reference your records and provide the needed information. The data can also help agencies identify opportunities within their own transportation management programs to improve performance and save money.

Agencies must maintain transportation records in accordance with the applicable National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Records Schedule or NARA approved Records Control Schedules.

Last Reviewed: 2023-02-24