This week’s blog is focused on helping Soldiers keep their Basic Allowance for Housing entitlements. The Army is taking some unprecedented actions to make sure Soldiers have required dependency documents on file in the interactive Personnel Electronic Records Management System, or iPERMS. The consequences of not complying could mean an immediate reduction in your paycheck.
In fiscal year 2016, there were at least 140,000 Soldiers who received BAH with-dependent but had missing dependency documents in their iPERMS files. If you’re not sure you’ll be in compliance, then contact your S-1 to ensure your iPERMS file has all the required documents, which may include DA Form 5960, promotion orders, child birth certificates, marriage certificate and permanent change of station orders.
Why the push for this now? Military payroll is a large portion of the Army’s budget and has a direct impact on auditability, which is required by Congress. On Nov. 3, I signed a memo, Achieving Auditability (FY 18 Audit) for all command sergeants major to lay out my expectations for leaders to support the Army’s auditability efforts and focus on ensuring Soldiers’ pay isn’t negatively impacted. I included a Sergeant Major’s Audit Readiness Engagement Checklist with 10 questions sergeants major should ask to ensure their organizations are postured for success.
Updating iPERMS files to avoid pay reductions is the immediate action Soldiers must take, but keeping files updated is an enduring requirement for units and leaders. The most effective way to accomplish this is through properly completed finance record reviews. These FRRs aren’t a “check the box” task; the FRR needs to stay open until all missing entitlement documents are uploaded in iPERMS. Auditability is not only required by Congress, but it shows that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer funds. I need your help to ensure the Army’s progress and success during the audit has no negative impact on Soldiers.