Danielle Russell

Danielle Russell

Program Analyst and Centrally Billed Account (CBA) 
Component Program Manager (CPM) 
Consolidated Card Program Management Division (CCPMD)
Department of the Navy  
6 Year Veteran of the GSA SmartPay Program (Level 2 A/OPC)

Describe some of your responsibilities related to the GSA SmartPay program.

  • Monitor the Navy’s Delinquency Management for all Centrally Billed Accounts (CBAs)
  • Support both Individually Billed Accounts (IBA) and CBA operations, by aiding in program reviews, credit increases, customer service, training initiatives, and conference planning
  • Liaison with Agency Program Coordinators (APCs), the contractor bank, charge card network, and Defense Travel Manage Office (DTMO)  
  • Working on the Navy Government Travel Charge Cards (GTCC) Help Desk

How does your agency/organization use the GSA SmartPay program to accomplish its mission?

We use the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) for all travel related expenses incident to official travel.  The cards we use 
are Individually Billed Accounts (IBAs), Defense Travel System (DTS) Centrally Billed Accounts (CBAs), Unit Card CBAs, and Traditional CBAs.  We run pilots to look at expanding the use of the card wherever it’s in the best interest of the Government.       

What do you see as the major benefits of the GSA SmartPay program?

  • Refunds: Refunds [are] paid out from the contractor bank to the Government in accordance with the SmartPay2 Master Contract.  Speaking from the Navy Program only, we receive two types of refunds from the bank.  One for the spend placed on the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) and one for how quickly we pay the bank.  These refunds earned are reallocated to unfunded programs which support the Warfighter.  With budget restrictions and limited resources, it is truly a benefit, to earn money while accomplishing the mission. 
  • Real-time functionality:  The contractor bank is available 24 hours a day seven days a week to support the Warfighter.  No matter where in the world the member is located, support is around the corner.  Cardholders have called me stranded at an airport.  Their card was declining due to not enough money. Maybe the cardholder had to buy two airline tickets while they waited for the refund.  In seconds, an Agency Program Coordinator (APC) or Component Program Manager (CPM) can increase their account and have them on their way.  In the event that travel gets extended, and therefore over the initial budget, a credit increase can be granted to the cardholder immediately.  In the days of advances, Commands couldn’t increase the member’s credit and cash in seconds, we can now.  In the event a card is lost we can freeze that account and send out a new emergency card in 24 hours.  Can’t do that with cash either! 
  • Do Not Strand Policy:  The bank has a do not strand policy to get the Warfighter home to their families.  
  • Communication:  The bank and Travel Offices, all have help desks set up to assist the Cardholder.        
  • Auditability:  This provides metrics which can be used in leveraging lower priced contracts for the Government. Lower delinquency, less Government liability, and lower misuse/abuse.   

What are three words to describe the GSA SmartPay Program? 

  1. Rewarding:  Paying the bill quickly returns a higher rebate back to the Navy to pay for programs for the Warfighter. 
  2. People:  [People] are what the program is set up for.  The Government Travel Charge Cards (GTCCs) should support the people using it, helping them to complete their mission effectively and efficiently.  The people working with the GTCC - Agency Program Coordinators (APCs), Component Program Managers (CPMs), Centrally Billed Account (CBA) Program Managers, etc. - their daily hard work is what makes the SmartPay program shine.   
  3. Quick:  Anywhere, Anytime, as long as it’s travel based the GTCC can help.

What is the most interesting/important way that you’ve seen the GSA SmartPay program used within your agency/organization?

NavyIn my 6 years, working with the card I couldn’t highlight only one important area I’ve seen the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) used.  There are just too many.  I have seen the GTCC used to help those stranded at the airport without money, buy hotel rooms for families that have lost loved ones too soon, for those traveling with the President and Congress, for building relationships with foreign militaries, for quick evacuations, recruiting new members to the DOD, to save money on contracts, and so much more. It is a small card, but it aids us in completing the big mission every day.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer to the account holder?

Manage your account!  The Smart Pay Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) program is an excellent program.  It has many 
benefits to the Navy and Government as a whole.  However, it is not without work.  A lot of tools exist to help you manage your account, [such as]: Mobile Alerts (sign up for them),  Online banking (sign up), Help Desks, Agency Program Coordinators (APCs), and Command websites. Ensure your account is up to date on transactions, payments, contact information, current APCs, and don’t forget to update your travel system when you get a new expiration date and you will have no problems.    

What’s one fact/piece of information about the GSA SmartPay program that you’d like to share with the general public?

In the days when negative headlines outweigh the positive, I’d like to share that the SmartPay program is a true testament to 
those in the DOD and Government.  Our delinquency is low and our misuse is even lower.  The hard work, kindness, willingness to help, passion and pride show in the missions accomplished every day using the Government Travel Charge Cards (GTCCs).