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Officials account for change to travel card program

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It's a change that many Airmen may not notice, but this summer the Air Force will be switching travel cards from the Controlled Spend Account card back to the former Government Travel Card system.

According to 1st Lt. Laura Kerns, financial services flight commander, officials decided to switch to the CSA card in 2010 to help curtail abuse of the card, control delinquencies and to also eliminate the unit coordinators for the travel card. "Chasing delinquencies takes a lot of manpower and they were hoping to eliminate that problem. If it was all just automated no one would go delinquent," she said.

Under the CSA card, funds were not allocated to the card until orders have been put into the system, and the credit limit was based on type of travel. "Unless you had orders in the system, the card was useless," Kerns said.

On paper, the plan looked great, but the transition didn't happen as seamlessly as hoped.

Frequent travelers were never transitioned over to the new system. "Their travel doesn't go in a linear fashion. You don't travel, come back, file your voucher and have everything clear before the next time you're gone," Kerns said.

Starting this summer, the CSA cards will roll back over to the traditional GTCs. Most cards will make the switch automatically. Regular GTCs will have a $7,500 limit on them and restricted cards a $4,000 limit.

Kerns said the same regulations are in place for the GTC as the CSA - the card is for official travel purposes only.

With the switch, unit coordinators will also be coming back to help monitor use of the cards.

Card users will still have several options when it comes to voucher payments, Kerns said. "If you choose to split disperse, then you have a certain amount of the money that goes directly to your card. If you choose to have all of your (voucher payment) sent to your card, then you don't have to worry about it. But if you get the entire amount dispersed to your personal account, then you have to pay the card (balance)," she said.

Regardless of how vouchers are paid out, Kerns encourages everyone to keep an eye on their bill to make sure the balance is paid. "Make sure you're checking the balance," she said. "If you file a voucher and you think that you've split dispersed, it's always a good idea to check because you'll have people who go delinquent on $5."

For information about the government travel card program, call 556-4770.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui