On October 4, 2018, I shared that HHS had provided NTEU with an Article 3 notice that it planned to update three areas of the HHS Travel Policy Manual. During the briefing with NTEU, HHS decided to initially delay the implementation of the receipt and invoice guidance. HHS has now provided NTEU with a new Article 3 notice on the subject. The notice explains:
- the differences between a receipt, an invoice, and a folio;
- the typical minimum information necessary for a receipt to be valid; and
- what must occur in the case of a missing receipt.
The guidance on receipts, invoices, and folios is scheduled to rollout during the second quarter of FY 2019.
Additionally, HHS has notified NTEU that it plans to make a few housekeeping changes to the manual. First, the current HHS Travel Policy Manual uses the terms travel order and travel authorization interchangeably. In fact, Section 1.4.1 states:
“HHS AOs, in accordance with the FTR and HHS travel policy, will limit the authorization and payment of travel related expenses to only those that are necessary to accomplish the HHS mission in the most economical and effective manner. Official business travel requires proper authorization. The terms ‘travel authorization’ and ‘travel order’ are used interchangeably in the HHS Travel Policy Manual.”
Thus, to be more aligned with the FTR (Federal Travel Regulation) and the agency’s own Travel System, HHS is eliminating the term “travel order” and replacing it with “travel authorization.” By the agency’s count, there are 74 incidences in all. Second, all instances of “HHS Travel Policy Manual” will also be updated and changed to “HHS Transportation Policy Manual.”
NTEU has requested a briefing to determine whether the agency’s new guidance requires HHS to bargain with NTEU. Please submit questions or concerns to your chapter president.