Approving Officials, PPC travel receives several Invitation Travel Orders (ITOs) each day, they are complex and follow very specific rules. We developed a basic guide that should answer many of your questions.
There are occasions when the Coast Guard will authorize the reimbursement of travel expenses to a non-governmental individual. ITOs may only be issued to individuals who are not employed by Government or are employed intermittently in Government as consultants or experts (under 5 U.S.C. 5703) (NOTE: This does not include a contractors' employee traveling in the performance of the contract, individuals who serve without pay or are paid $1 per year when acting in a capacity that is directly related to, or in connection with official government activities; or volunteers who are covered by 10 U.S.C. 1588.)
Travel allowances authorized for these individuals are usually the same as those for employees traveling on temporary duty (TDY) orders. This guide addresses how to prepare the traveler for making their transportation arrangements, receive advances, and file a travel claim. It is not comprehensive in content. The full regulations governing ITOs and entitlements are covered in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, Federal Travel Regulations, and COMDTINST 12570.3E. Evacuation orders are not ITOs.
Guidelines on the preparation of invitational travel orders are listed in COMDINST 12570.3E, enclosure (1). Only certain officials are authorized to sign ITOs. The instruction is very specific and must be followed; see enclosure (3) of the instruction. Claims submitted without the proper official's original signature signed in blue ink on the orders will not be processed and returned to the Approving Official (AO).
When an active duty uniform member is traveling under official TDY orders with a command sponsored dependent who could have been issued an ITO for medical purposes either as the patient or an escort, the dependent may be placed on the active duty uniform member's travel orders with all pertinent information. This can be done for medical ITOs only, all other ITO circumstances the dependents must be issued their own ITO. Minors traveling with a guardian or escort may be listed on the guardian or escorts ITO. When the active duty uniform member is traveling with a command sponsored dependent with orders, the member may use their GTCC for their travel expenses only, not the dependents. A member who has their dependents listed on their orders for medical shall complete the travel claim and submit it by mail to PPC due to the complexity of the claim and entitlements.
Travelers over the age of 21 should be issued their own ITO. Minors/incapacitated travelers who are authorized to travel under an ITO shall be listed under the legal guardian, escort, or attendant's ITO.
A traveler must have a Social Security Number (SSN) or, in the case of foreign nationals, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). To apply for an ITIN, use the latest revision of IRS Form W-7 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf) (Note: See this page for the procedure for obtaining an ITIN from abroad: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96690,00.html). If a foreign national or any other traveler does not hold a US bank account, a paper check in US dollars will be sent to the mailing address provided on the Travel Voucher, DD-1351-2.
The TONO for ITOs can be an 11 or 13 document type. Blanket orders are not authorized.
The unit AO shall assist the traveler in making their transportation reservations. They must be arranged using the Commercial Travel Office (CTO) contractor, SATO. Travelers on ITOs will use the Centrally-Billed Account (CBA) for transportation expenses since the Invitational Traveler does not possess a GTCC. The order must specify that the CBA is authorized. Reimbursement for reservations made outside the contracted CTO is limited to the City-pair YCA contracted fares plus CTO transaction fee. The toll free SATO Service Center phone numbers are; Hawaii, Guam, Singapore, and Japan - 1-877-666-1304, all others - 1-800-753-7286. Travelers will have to arrange their own lodging and rental car, if authorized, unless the unit has contracted out the lodging. When a rental vehicle is authorized on the ITO, Invitational Travelers are listed as authorized users under the U.S. Government Rental Car Agreement Number 4. The Invitational Traveler should verify that the Government Administrative Rate Supplement (GARS) is stated within rental vehicle contract at $5.00 per day. Global Positioning Systems are not authorized for Invitational Travelers.
Travelers should be notified of the TDY location per diem rates which define their maximum reimbursements. An advance for invitational travelers will be paid to the traveler to whom the ITO is issued. To request advances, use the SF-1038 form (under their SSN) with a signed copy of the authorization. Fax the SF-1038 to the Pay and Personnel Center at (785)339-3775. The advance should be requested prior to travel, but may be issued during travel with authorization from PPC Travel Branch Chief. To expedite the payment process for advances and travel claims, the traveler who is issued the ITO MUST complete the Coast Guard Finance Center Online Electronic Funds Transfer/Member Payment Enrollment Form at https://www.fincen.uscg.mil/secure/enrollment_form.htm. Once completed all travel payments will be electronically transferred into their banking institution of choice (EFT). It is recommended that travel advance requests not exceed 80% of the estimated travel entitlements. This will help reduce overpayments and collection action.
The invitational traveler with assistance from the AO will have to complete and provide an original Travel Voucher DD-1351-2 signed in blue ink by the traveler and AO, original authorization signed in blue ink by the ITO Authorizing Official, and provide all necessary receipts (lodging, airfare, rental vehicle, other receipts in the amount of $75 or greater). The entire claim should be mailed to the address below. If the traveler was authorized Actual Expense for meals/transportation (AE), they must save all receipts (gas, meals, etc). The claims shall be submitted to the AO within five business days after travel has been completed. All contact information on the travel voucher must be provided, i.e., address, phone number, and e-mail. The invitational traveler shall be reminded to maintain their travel documentation for six years, three months.
Commanding Officer (TST)
Invitational Travel Claims
Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center
444 S.E. Quincy Street
Topeka KS 66683
If the traveler is overpaid, PPC will mail a debt letter to the address provided on the Travel Voucher DD-1351-2. The traveler has 30 days from the date of the letter to make payment in full, or the indebtedness will be referred to the U.S Treasury for collection.