By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Patrick Dionne, USS Fitzgerald Public Affairs
DARWIN, Australia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) implemented the Secretary of the Navy's (SECNAV) new initiative to pay husbanding service providers (HSP) during a port visit to Darwin, July 20-24 by using a new process, called Off-Ship Bill Pay (OSBP).
The new process was developed to simplify and address changes to the Navy's HSP procurement and bill paying, by removing the treasury check payment from the ship's disbursing officer during port visits, which will instead be paid via invoicing, receipt, acceptance, and property transfer (IRAPT).
The new OSBP process builds on the procure-to-pay (P2P) pilot program that was completed by the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Mustin (DDG 89) in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility earlier this year.
"This was a tremendous opportunity to exercise SECNAV's initiative," said Cmdr. Christopher England, commanding officer of Fitzgerald. "This initiative allows for a better system of accountability for Navy ships in foreign ports and allows them to have further control over the quality of service they receive."
During Fitzgerald's port visit to Darwin, the ship met with representatives and contracting officers from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka and U.S. Pacific Fleet who helped to provide guidance on the OSBP initiative that will be implemented fleet wide in the new 2016 fiscal year, Oct. 1.
"OSBP will be a great asset to the Navy as it will provide additional checks and balances to ensure all billing information is correct and that we are receiving the services we ordered," said Lt. Bryce Hicks, the Fitzgerald's supply officer. "In the long term it will help simplify the process and having the opportunity to go live this week gives the Navy the ability to learn how to use the system in the most effective ways possible before Oct. 1."
U.S. Navy ships will be able to use the new OSBP initiative in order to provide a flexible mechanism to remove HSP bill payments from ships that can be utilized by all ship classes to provide necessities such as water, food, transportation and supplies during visits to foreign ports.
"OSBP takes advantage of existing technologies that will help simplify procuring and paying for services while providing a level of accountability that did not exist before," said Cmdr. Robert Shu, the Fitzgerald's executive officer.
Fitzgerald, one of seven destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.