The description below is a generic look into the travel voucher processing cycle that you will be using within your specific organization. The agency/command determines when the mission requires that an employee/member performs official travel. The following is a brief description of what occurs, and when it occurs, within that processing cycle.
The traveler is directed by the order issuing authority to perform travel to conduct official business for an organization within the Department of Defense. This directive maybe either in writing or verbal, if verbal, the directive must be later confirmed in writing. The traveler then requests airline tickets, rental car, hotel reservations as needed to complete the directed mission.
Once the traveler completes the trip they prepare and complete a DD Form 1351-2, supported by applicable documentation, orders/amendments, receipts for items over $75.00, all lodging and rental car receipts for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of the official travel. Voucher also must be signed by the traveler and appropriate officials (supervisor and/or approving official) before any claims may be paid.
The voucher is then submitted to the proper travel pay operations office by U. S. mail, fax or email. Once received the voucher is then brought under control by logging the voucher into WinIATS, the travel processing system. The voucher is then placed on a block ticket with a number of other vouchers that it will flow through the processing cycle together (block tickets contain normally 10-15 vouchers based on local office policy). The voucher is reviewed to ensure it is prepared correctly and the documents are there that allow the voucher to be processed. The following are 5 Show Stoppers that if any of this data is not available the vouchers will be returned to the traveler.
5 Show Stoppers:
1. Administrative information not accurate or incomplete on DD 1351-2 (blocks 1-14).
2. Missing orders to include attachments, endorsements, any and all amendments, etc.
3. Incomplete itinerary (block 15).
4. Missing signatures/dates of traveler’s (claimants) (blocks 20 a & b).
5. Missing Reviewer/Approving Official signatures/dates (blocks 20 c-f and blocks 21 a-d.).
The block ticket is then forwarded to the processing area for input into WinIATS for computation of the voucher.
The travel technician receives the block ticket and reviews the vouchers for completeness (2nd review for ensuring all documents are available). The vouchers are then input into WinIATS with appropriate information which includes order number, dates of travel, itinerary, modes of travel, lodging expenses and other reimbursable expenses such as taxi fare from home to the airport, rental car and fuel for rental car are examples of miscellaneous expenses (which are identified in APP G from either the JTR or JFTR, also contained in this course material). The technician also reviews the travel order to identify the funding information that is needed to process and disburse the travel entitlement payment. The technician inputs the accounting data to charge the travel cost to the appropriate funds specified in the orders. Each order must contain a valid fund cite or the voucher can not be disbursed. The reason for the second review is to ensure that all documents that are needed to disburse the travel payment are available and valid. There are problems that the logging technician may not or is not trained to identify that the processing technician will encounter because of the responsibility to input the voucher for computation into WinIATS.
After input and review by the technician the voucher with block ticket may go to either one of two places. One is direct to upload/download team for upload into the disbursing system. The other route that the voucher may take (for the first ninety days all your vouchers will follow this process) is to the auditor. WinIATS randomly selects vouchers and selects any voucher over $2,500.00 for audit. The auditor reviews the voucher and supporting documentation to determine if the voucher has been computed correctly. If there are errors contained in the voucher, it is returned to the processing technician for correction and then returned to the auditor for another review. Once the voucher is determined to be correct that voucher and block ticket are forwarded to the upload/download team for upload to disbursing system.
NOTE: The system is setup for the first ninety days that a technician is computing vouchers all will be audited. Once you have completed that ninety day period or your supervisor determines that you are ready, you will then follow the procedure outlined above.
Once the vouchers and block ticket are received by the upload/download team there are upload into the Operational Data Store (ODS) system awaiting processing approval by the certifying officer (CO). Once the vouchers are approved for payment by the CO they will normally be disbursed the morning of the next business day. If the CO determines that voucher is not correct or is lacking supporting documentation the voucher is either removed from the block ticket and correction are made on the spot and the CO approves the payment. If the voucher is removed from the block ticket, it is placed on another block ticket and goes back for correction of the error that caused the reject. Once that is corrected the voucher and the block ticket follows the same process as outlined above.
After the voucher is disbursed, the upload/download team downloads the payment data from ODS that includes the amount of payment, date of payment, and disbursing office voucher number. This data is then input into WinIATS to update the voucher information within that system. This enables the office to ensure that payment was made and answer any questions that the traveler may have.
Once the payment has been made, the voucher and supporting documentation becomes what is known as “Money Papers” and legally must be retained for six years and three months. Each office utilizes different systems to comply with this requirement. This procedure will be explained to you by your supervisor if your duties require you to understand this process.