Treasury system could speed payments

Contractors might see quicker and easier payments if the Treasury Department can launch its Internet Payment Platform, which promises to reduce paper transaction.

Department officials plan to put the platform in place by the end of September. All new payment requests in fiscal 2013 will be processed in the centralized electronic invoicing and payment information system, the Federal Register notice states. The notice was released July 9.

The platform will be a secure web-based system that processes payment data electronically and automates the routing and approval workflow within an agency.

Officials hope to stop filing and storing paper payment documents. They also want to reduce the amount of time workers spend researching and answering payment status questions. The new platform would provide visibility into contract payments for vendors and departments.

It would also increase transparency in the overall payment process.

Officials amended the Department of the Treasury Acquisition Regulation (DTAR) to implement the system.

Besides department employees, officials expect the platform to reduce the time it takes to make a payment. It also creates a standard set of electronic data to submit payment requests to the government. Officials said the platform can save money on postage costs while improving cash management by eliminating things like routing documents.

The platform also could reduce the costs of dealing with multiple processes and requirements.

However, officials noted that the payment history feature in the platform is intended to provide a convenient reference for contractors, not to relieve contractors of existing record keeping requirements.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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