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Pope Finance dedicated to providing best service

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Matthew Miller
  • 43rd Comptroller Squadron
It has recently been brought to light that many Air Force members have had issues with Air Force Financial Management, namely travel pay and military pay entitlements.

The Air Force Times has recently published several articles that state deployment entitlements and military pay (specifically Basic Allowance for Housing) have been paid incorrectly according to recent Department of Defense Inspector General and Air Force independent audits.

One of their articles noted that, "The problems stemmed from inaccurate tracking of deployments by finance offices at deployed bases and the Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., which processes pay paperwork." Another asserts, "...auditors have found dozens of Airmen, officer and enlisted, being underpaid or overpaid BAH by amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands..." Both claims are unacceptable to us, directly affect the mission readiness of our Airmen and highlight areas of customer service that the 43rd Comptroller Squadron is committed to improve upon.

The travel data presented in the Air Force Times article is based on 2008 inputs and does not reflect the current environment we operate in today. We now process deployment orders through the Defense Travel System and eFinance, which increases accuracy and is more convenient for the member. There are several measures we take to ensure we pay the correct entitlements to each member, but we still rely on what the member provides our office upon returning from a deployment.

All entitlements start when the member in-processes at their deployed location and stop when the member provides their travel voucher to the base Finance office. Before any such documents are submitted for payment, they go through a rigorous review and audit to ensure accurate information is provided. The Financial Services Office trains on a consistent basis and they correct any discrepancies found on the spot.

All Active Duty deployment orders are now being processed through DTS, which not only accelerates things like accrual payments in the interim and vouchers at the end, but also drastically decreases the risk of mistakes in documentation. When the order is loaded into DTS, the 43rd CPTS Financial Management Analysis flight scans a copy of the deployment order so the member doesn't have to provide it when they return.

BAH is based on your pay grade, where you live, and whether you have dependents. It is critical that you provide the Military Personnel Squadron and Finance accurate information. Changes in marital status, a promotion, or additions to your family all effect your entitlements, which can cause under or over payment if not updated. Finance performs periodic audits to ensure controls are in place and working properly, but the member is ultimately responsible for ensuring they receive the appropriate pay.

Proactive behavior from both sides, CPTS and the customer, ensures accurate and timely payments occur and quick corrective action is taken when errors do take place. As comptrollers, we are dedicated to providing the best customer service possible and looking for new ways to improve. For the customer, this means checking their leave and earnings statement monthly at www.mypay.dfas.mil and contacting our office immediately when they see things that do not make sense.