About three months after a Georgia logistics company took over a contract to transport and store vehicles owned by military personnel and civilian employees of the Defense Department, the Pentagon is stepping in to help people find their cars.
On May 1, International Auto Logistics assumed responsibility for the Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract, also known as GPC III, from prior contractor American Auto. Under the terms of the contract, IAL is responsible for processing, transporting and storing vehicles owned by military personnel and Defense Department civilian employees bound for or returning from overseas duty locations.
But as reported by Stars and Stripes earlier this week, the transition has been less than smooth. Hundreds of individuals have reported problems with shipping cars as part of their permanent change of station moves; the Pentagon estimates it has received 250 complaints between May and the end of July. An IAL spokeswoman pointed to record-setting volume of requests in June and July as the reason for the delay.
As one Air Force colonel told the publication: “My car could be lost, it could be at the bottom of the ocean. It could have been stolen and some Somali pirate might be driving it in Mogadishu.”
So the Pentagon is getting involved, forming a fusion team to evaluate and address the issues, which at first glance seems to be the result of missing or incomplete transit data.
“Our group’s responsibility is to examine IAL’s supply chain processes and provide contract oversight of the company’s ability to meet the requirements for our military customers,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Guemmer, who’s leading the team, in a Pentagon article on the topic. “We’re not here to do IAL’s job. We’re here to look after the best interest of our military customers by highlighting issues that IAL needs to resolve.”
For now, the fusion team is adding contracting officer’s representatives, known as CORs, at several vehicle procession centers within the continental U.S. — the theory being that increased onsite presence will be used to engage with customers, oversee contractor performance and validate that accurate information is being provided.
“Every customer should be able to easily and quickly determine where their vehicle is, and right now, that’s not happening,” Guemmer said.