Military relocation debate deadlocked

Military relocation debate deadlocked

ksaldarini@govexec.com

Military families could expect their furniture to arrive on time, their dishes to arrive unbroken, and timely claims reimbursement under the Defense Department's latest plan to fix its damaged relocation program, DoD officials said Thursday.

But without the moving industry's approval, the plan is unlikely to succeed, members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness said Thursday at a hearing on shipment of household goods.

"It is broke. It does need to be fixed. The question is what's the best way to fix it?" Rep. Herbert H. Bateman, R-Va., chairman of the readiness subcommittee, said of the military's relocation services.

DoD's full service moving project (FSMP) intends to replace what is widely considered a horrendous personal property relocation system. The system damages more than furniture, said Roger W. Kallock, deputy under Secretary of Defense for logistics. DoD's poor relocation record is a quality of life issue that negatively impacts morale at a time when retention is a top priority.

"The frustration of one move is significant . . . the frustration associated with a dozen or more often disillusions and discourages our men and women in uniform," said Lt. Gen. John G. Coburn, the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics.

FSMP would improve the estimated 650,000 moves DoD families make annually by getting industry contractors to provide better service, DoD officials say. The plan would combine the best aspects of three pilot programs DoD is currently testing. One pilot program is selecting moving companies based on quality instead of cost, another allows military members to choose their own moving company and pay for it with a government purchase card. The third pilot, known as the Army Hunter test, provides service members with a total relocation package, combining one-on-one relocation counseling, a single point-of-contact, home buying and selling services, full recovery under claims processing and 24 hour service via a 1-800 number.

Defense officials are eager to get the FSMP test going, since the momentum for revamping DoD relocation services has been dragging on for at least five years. But several hurdles remain before military families can pack their bags without worrying whether they'll ever see the bags again.

Opposition from the moving industry is strong. Transportation providers don't want to be relegated to subcontractor status under an outsourcing arrangement that places all distribution in the hands of a sole contractor. They also don't want to settle claims through third parties or pay commissions to management companies.

"My industry has been and continues to be simultaneously whip-sawed from program to program," Joe Harrison, president of the American Moving and Storage Association testified. The overly complicated efforts DoD has put into this issue might make an observer "wonder whether those efforts were intended to solve the DoD Y2K problem rather than to develop a sound personal property transportation program for the military," he said in a prepared statement.

A General Accounting Office audit of the Army Hunter pilot program concluded that the Army's survey of customer satisfaction was flawed. GAO was unable to validate Army reports that satisfaction increased by 11.5 percent. DoD admits that the test was not perfect. In fact, the test revealed significantly higher costs for the program. But, DoD witnesses agree that the investment is well worth the price.

DoD's next step is to draft a solicitation for the FSMP test based on results of the ongoing pilot programs. Under the best of circumstances for DoD, a new relocation program would not take effect DoD-wide until 2001 at the very earliest, Kallock said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.