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Article 16

TRAVEL

SECTION 16.01: Employees shall be required to travel only when officially justified and by those means which meet mission requirements consistent with good management practices. Further, employees required to travel in the course of performing assigned duties shall receive maximum allowance as provided by the Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), as amended. Every effort possible will be made to provide employees in advance with information regarding: (a) purpose of the travel assignment; (b) anticipated duration of assignment; and (c) modes of transportation.

SECTION 16.02: The Employer will provide the Union a copy of the JTR and a copy of all changes to the Joint Travel Regulations as they are received by the Region.

SECTION 16.03: Employees on official business will exercise the same care in incurring expenses and accomplishing a mission that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business. Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of a mission are not considered acceptable as exercising prudence.

SECTION 16.04: When employees travel on official business requiring written orders, they will be prepared and allowances authorized consistent with the policies and procedures specified in Volume 2, Joint Travel Regulations. When employees travel locally and written orders are not required, such travel will also be paid consistent with Joint Travel Regulations. Travel Orders, Form DD-1610 or equivalent, shall be issued in advance of the date on which the travel is to begin, except in cases of urgent or unusual situations. In the absence of such circumstances, orders will be issued sufficiently in advance to permit the employee to complete all travel arrangements prior to the travel, including lodging arrangements, obtaining transportation requests or tickets and advanced funds, if desired and appropriate. Employees will be advanced temporary travel funds in amounts consistent with policies contained in Volume 2, Joint Travel Regulations. Government credit cards are available for the convenience of frequent travelers for the purpose of travel-related expenses.

SECTION 16.05: While the decision to apply for or accept the contractor-issued charge card is a personal choice, travel advances for eligible personnel shall be limited to amounts to cover the meals and incidental expenses portion of per diem, plus miscellaneous reimbursable expenses which cannot be charged to the card, such as, mileage, taxis, local public transportation, tolls, parking fees, and gasoline.

SECTION 16.06: To the maximum extent practicable, management will schedule or allow scheduling of necessary travel time within an employee's regularly scheduled hours of duty in connection with official travel.

SECTION 16.07: Reimbursement claims should be submitted, as soon as possible, upon completion of the travel assignment. Normally, claims should be submitted no later than fifteen (15) days after completion of travel. Claims to liquidate an advance of funds should be submitted within fifteen (15) days after completion of TDY. When TDY extends beyond thirty (30) days, a reimbursement claim should be submitted every thirty (30) days, and upon completion of TDY. Failure of an employee to clear a travel debt within thirty (30) days after receipt of written request will result in immediate collection of the entire debt amount from the individual's payroll check.

SECTION 16.08: Prior to final determination of the modes of transportation required for employees required to perform travel, the following alternatives, when requested will be given consideration to the extent allowable by JTR, Volume 2:

    A. authorization to drive privately owned vehicle (POV);

    B. authorization to drive a GSA car; or

    C. authorization to use a rental car.

SECTION 16.09: Unless restricted in travel orders, employees in a temporary duty travel status may, in the absence of government transportation, use taxicabs or other suitable public transportation between the temporary duty station and a place where suitable meals are provided, if meals are not available at the TDY site. Reimbursement will be subject to the approval of the Travel Order Issuing Authority and Disbursing Officer.

SECTION 16.10: Problems arising from travel orders or travel claims will be resolved between the traveler and the FAO Manager, and the disbursing office. Reasonable time will be allowed for this purpose during the working hours of the employee, and charged as an indirect time charge.

SECTION 16.11: While ownership or use of a POV is not a condition of employment, when use of a POV is authorized by an employee's supervisor or other appropriate official, the maximum mileage allowance and related expenses will be authorized in accordance with the JTR.

SECTION 16.12: An employee authorized to use his POV will not be required to carry a passenger(s). If an employee voluntarily accepts an employee(s) as a passenger(s) on official business, any claim for damages may be pursued by the injured party through any means they desire, including the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

SECTION 16.13: Employees will not be required to stay away from their duty station two consecutive weekends. Employees will be given travel time for the full trip to and from their duty station each time they travel.

Article 17

BUDGETED AUDIT HOURS

SECTION 17.01: The Parties agree that the amount of audit hours expended should be controlled. Planned hours should be based on realistic and practical input and be flexible enough to be adjusted if the work situation changes from what had been previously anticipated. No two audits are exactly alike and each audit requires separate consideration and/or planning. Audit performance will not be measured based on comparison of actual hours versus budgeted hours alone, but on the quality and materiality of the work performed, the degree of difficulty of the assignment and overall work conditions such as the state of the contractor's records and cooperativeness of the contractor.

SECTION 17.02: As soon as an auditor ascertains that the actual audit hours will deviate by more than 10% under or over the budgeted audit hours, or that the established due dates cannot be met, he shall notify his supervisor of the deviation or time limit problem and the reasons therefor.

SECTION 17.03: Upon such notification, the supervisor shall make such adjustments or if adjustments are not possible, the supervisor will be responsible for the decision to curtail the audit. The supervisor will communicate the decision in writing along with, if necessary, guidance to maintain the quality of the audit.

Article 18

TRAINING

SECTION 18.01: The Employer shall exercise responsibility under 5 U.S.C. 4103 and Government-wide rules and regulations for the establishment of training programs designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the work force. In conjunction with this goal, the Employer will, as funds permit, make available to an employee in the unit, the training necessary for the performance of the employee's assigned duties and for the satisfaction of the GAGAS continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. To the extent possible, training opportunities will be publicized and employees informed of the selection process consistent with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41 and Government-wide rules and regulations.

SECTION 18.02: An employee's training needs will be discussed during the employee's performance evaluation and will be recorded on the appropriate DCAA form, which will be updated as needed. The employee will provide input to the supervisor of training needs. The supervisor and the employee will discuss and formulate the training plan before sending the plan to the Region. If the employee does not agree with the supervisorís final recommended plan, the employee may attach his comments to the plan. Final approval of training must be given by the Regional Director or his designated representative and will take into consideration budgetary limitations, workload constraints, and professional development of the employee.

SECTION 18.03: Employees are encouraged to participate in self-development programs such as CPA certifications and training and advanced degrees to increase their efficiency and enhance their career potential.

SECTION 18.04: The Employer will make efforts to provide for variations in the customary work week to permit employees to take work-related courses in nearby educational institutions, when the scheduling of courses does not appreciably interfere with the accomplishment of the work assignments. The employee is still responsible for completing the eighty (80) BWR, and no premium compensation will be paid solely because of rescheduling. The employee will not be permitted to work beyond the established office hours.

SECTION 18.05: Training time for study prior to attending the DCAI, will be available for DCAA courses which require pre-study. Training time will not be available to study for CPA review courses.

SECTION 18.06: Once a year there will be labor relations training for three (3) complete days (in addition to travel time) for up to thirty (30) Union officials, including all elected officers and stewards, at a time and place to be mutually agreed upon by the parties. Any request for Union attendees beyond this limit will be submitted to the Regional Director for approval on a case-by-case basis. The Employer will provide official time, travel, and per diem for all approved Union attendees. The Labor Relations Officer and his staff will be invited to attend all sessions. A limited number of Management officials will be invited to attend the opening and closing sessions of the training. After the Union has developed the training agenda, a copy of this will be provided to the Labor Relations Officer. In addition to the three (3) days of training, a new steward will be entitled to receive an additional eight (8) hours of training.

SECTION 18.07: The parties support the DCAA Upward Mobility Program.

SECTION 18.08: Employees shall be given the opportunity to become proficient in job-related computer skills.

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