Invitational Travel Authorizations (ITAs)
Approving Officials, PPC travel receives several Invitation Travel Authorizations (ITAs) each day, they are complex and follow very specific rules. We developed a basic Overview that should answer many of your questions.
Invitation Travel Authorizations (ITAs) Overview
There are occasions when the Coast Guard will authorize the reimbursement of travel expenses to a non-governmental individual. ITAs 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.)
This Overview 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 ITAs and entitlements are covered in the following directives:
Note: Evacuation orders are not ITAs.
Travel allowances authorized for these individuals are typically governed by the FTR following the same rules for employees traveling on temporary duty (TDY) orders. The TONO for ITAs can be an 11 or 13 document type. Blanket authorizations are not authorized.
Guidelines on the preparation of ITAs are listed in Invitational Travel Authorizations, COMDTINST 12570.3H enclosure (1). Only certain officials are authorized to sign ITAs. The instruction is very specific and must be followed; see Enclosure (3). Claims submitted without the proper official's signature signed in ink on the authorizations will not be processed and returned to the Approving Official (AO).
The US Department of Treasury and the IRS require that in order to pay travel claims to a US citizen they must include a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in the case of foreign nationals. If a foreign national does not obtain an ITIN then PPC TVL may create a unique identifier.
To apply for an ITIN, use the latest revision of IRS Form W-7 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf). To obtain an ITIN from abroad: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/obtaining-an-itin-from-abroad.
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.
Travelers over the age of 21 should be issued their own ITA. Minors/incapacitated travelers who are authorized to travel under an ITA may be listed under the legal guardian, escort or attendant's ITA. Claims submitted on behalf of a minor or incompetent person must follow the requirements in DODI 1340.21 E5.5: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134021p.pdf
The unit AO shall assist the traveler in making their transportation, lodging and rental reservations. Reservations must be arranged using the Travel Management Center (TMC) contractor, ADTRAV: www.dcms.uscg.mil/PSC/BOPS/PSC-BOPS-R/GOVTrvl/ADTRAV/#ADTRAV%20Contact%20Information
Travelers on ITAs should use the Centrally-Billed Account (CBA) for transportation expenses since the Invitational Traveler does not possess a GTCC. GTCC cardholders may not use their GTCC for dependent travel. The ITA must specify that the CBA is authorized. Reimbursement for commercial air reservations made outside the contracted TMC are limited to the available City-Pair YCA contracted fare plus TMC transaction fee or Lowest Economy Fare as determined by the AO. Please refer to the PPC website main page section on "How to Calculate the Constructed Cost". Lodging is limited to the locality lodging cap.
Rentals are limited to the available authorized class (default compact class) per Rental Agreement #4: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/rental.cfm. When a rental vehicle is authorized on the ITA, Invitational Travelers are listed as authorized users under the U.S. Government Rental Car Agreement #4. The Invitational Traveler should request the government rate and 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 TDY location per diem rates which define their maximum reimbursements. Meals must be itemized on the claim if the traveler was authorized Actual Expense (AE). An advance for invitational travelers will be paid to the traveler to whom the ITA 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. Advances should be requested prior to travel but may be issued during travel with authorization from PPC Travel Branch Chief. The traveler who is issued the ITA MUST complete the Coast Guard Finance Center Online Electronic Funds Transfer/Member Payment Enrollment Form (CG-7301) HERE to expedite the payment process for advances and travel claims. All travel payments will be electronically transferred into their banking institution of choice (EFT). Recommend that advance requests not exceed 80% of the estimated travel entitlements. This will help reduce overpayments and collection action.
The invitational traveler assisted by the AO will complete and provide an original Travel Voucher DD-1351-2 signed in ink by the traveler and AO, original authorization signed in ink by the ITA Authorizing Official and provide all required receipts (lodging, airfare, rental vehicle, other receipts in the amount of $75 or greater). The entire claim should be sent to the AO for review and approval within 5 working days after you complete your travel or every 30 days if you are on continuous travel status. The AO should then submit the claim packet to PPC within 2 days of receipt from the member. 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. In the event of rare or exceptional circumstances that the AO approved claim must be mailed by a claimant then please submit to the address below:
Commanding Officer (TST)
Invitational Travel Claims
Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center
444 S.E. Quincy Street
Topeka KS 66683
PPC will mail a debt letter to the address provided on the Travel Voucher DD-1351-2 if the traveler is overpaid. 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.
Medical travel involving both minor dependent patients and attendants allow for an attendant to claim the minor patient on their own claim. The same HSWL signed ITA listing both dependent attendant and patient could be used for claim submission purposes. If the claim is submitted by an attendant who is an active duty member or civilian employee then dependent patient's travel claim must include an ITA signed by HSWL.
Medical travel under JTR, par. 033007 Medical Specialty Care Travel of More Than 100 Miles (CONUS only) provides for other family members who are 21 years of age or older as attendants to be issued their own HSWL signed ITA and file their own travel claim or included on the patient’s HSWL signed travel authorization and identified as an attendant. In the latter case the adult patient would claim allowances to include attendant travel.
An active duty member acting as a medical attendant who has their dependent minor patients listed on a medical travel claim must provide HSWL approval for dependent travel with either an additional patient ITA or a HSWL signature authority on the member's orders listing those dependents.