MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy's Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Travel Processing Center (TPC) Memphis is currently experiencing a significant backlog in processing travel claims, Navy leaders said Feb. 7.
Currently, TPC Memphis is processing a backlog of 7,500 claims with a settlement time between 60 and 70 days. A series of events, including IT system failures, increased travel claim volume due to the large number of PCS orders released at the end of the fiscal year, natural disaster evacuations, inclement weather base closures and a furlough caused claims processing timeliness to exceed the mandated 30 day processing time required by the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR). The JTR requires travel claims to be processed within 30 days of the end of a service member's travel.
"This is not the kind of customer service that we want to provide our Sailors. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve this situation, and expedite processing your travel claims. Ultimately we are working towards improving our personnel processes and systems through our transformation efforts, and these lessons learned will help us shape our future customer service practices," said Rear Adm. John Nowell, Commander, Navy Personnel Command.
Navy Personnel Command's (NPC) Pay and Personnel Department has taken a number of steps to eliminate the backlog, including distributing a portion of the backlog to other personnel support detachments that have travel support personnel to expedite travel claim processing.
Travel claims specialists from Personnel Support Detachments across the Navy rotated through TPC Memphis from August - December 2017 assisting in processing claims. Tiger teams are on station in Ballston Spa and Great Lakes, and some work has been shared across other PSDs. The Navy has surged additional military and civilian personnel to resolve this backlog, including the stand-up of a second shift to assist with the backlog until processing times are within standards.
"We understand how stressful it is for families in transition and how important it is to get travel claims settled and money back in Sailors' hands," said Ann Stewart, director, Pay and Personnel Department, NPC. "We are committed to getting this fixed quickly. Our Sailors and their families are important to us and we are dedicated to providing superior customer service. One of our main transformation initiatives is the stand-up of My Navy Call Center, slated to open this fall, which will help mitigate occurrences such as this in the future."
Currently, TPC Memphis is processing claims from mid-November, and anticipates returning to the 30-day processing requirement by mid-March.
TPC Memphis has been operational since August 2016 on Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South and processed more than 10,000 travel claims in the first quarter of 2018.
For information and tips on how to submit travel claims, resources are available at www.npc.navy.mil/support/paypers/cpcresources/Pages/ReceiptsTransfersTravel.aspx.