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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Feb. 23, 2022

FSMS Update: Where to get help with travel vouchers or reimbursement claims 

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

If you are having issues booking or getting reimbursed for TDY travel since the Coast Guard shifted to the Financial System Modernization Solution (FSMS), check out the latest guidance on the PPC ETS website for help.   

While multiple claims and transactions have been successfully completed since FSMS was connected to the E-Government Travel System (ETS) in January, members are still reporting difficulties with vouchering or delayed reimbursements. 

The most common challenges 

Some error codes you might see: 

  • A travel reimbursement claim is rejected because of missing employee information. 

  • A person is prevented from vouchering due to lack of approved authorization. 

  • A claim is rejected by the FSMS because of incorrect funding information.  

Often, the problem is the interface between Direct Access, which collects human resources data, and FSMS. “We’re finding that some members are not appearing in FSMS, for whatever reason, which causes their claim to be rejected,” said Cmdr. William Suter, who oversees Travel Management Officer (TMO) implementation. This often affects newer employees who might have joined the Coast Guard after the cut-over period, he said. Efforts are being made at FINCEN to add these missing members, he added.   

Another frequently seen error is related to the new system requirement that a claim be charged to the appropriate projects, organizations, expenditures, and tasks (POETs). If the POET information is incorrect, this could create a processing problem. Because there was a cutover period which required manual loading of POET information, members may need to update the information provided by FSMS to the travel system by using the travel authorization amendment feature. 

As the service continues to work with Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Resources and the FCMS implementation to resolve these issues, the mission critical status for all government travel credit cards (GTCC) has been extended through the end of February. This means no payments will be due until 45 days after this status expires, so you should plan to be able to settle your account prior to March 28. Split disbursement is highly recommended for GTCC charges.  

Additional reminders 

Here are some other recommendations to facilitate processing travel claims in the new system: 

  • Complete travel vouchers as soon as possible and submit them within three days of the conclusion of a trip. This allows time to resolve issues. 

  • Approving officials and fund approvers should check POETs for accuracy. 

  • Members should try to cancel trips prior to reservations being ticketed for airline reservations or invoiced for hotels and rental cars to avoid unnecessary fees. 

  • Commanding officers may extend approving official privileges to reserve members to improve efficiency of routing reserve travel requests. 

  • Book urgent travel (departure in 24 hours or less) through the Travel Management Coordinator. Any other travel should be booked online to reduce fees. 

  • Wait until airline tickets are purchased by SATO – generally, three days before travel – to use travel rewards to obtain upgrades. 

  • For PCS claims, see guidance here.  

  • The Travel Assist Team (TAT) is available through March 31. Only approving officials or fund approvers should contact TAT.  

  • Orders originating in Direct Access have hindered some students from completing orders for school training, resulting in FSMS and/or ETS error codes associated with funding and date changes. The Coast Guard will address this in an upcoming advisory. 

 You can find additional information about the TMC and use of the GTCC to facilitate travel at the COMDT (CG-PSC) website. 

For other related ETS or TMO questions, please email Cmdr. William Suter, TMO Implementation (CG-133) or call (202) 475-5377. 

Recent News:  

Members are now able to file travel claims for reimbursement  

The Coast Guard’s financial system is delayed 

How you can prepare for the new travel system