Information Papers

Property Accountability

What is it?
Property accountability is the obligation imposed by law, lawful order, or regulation, for keeping accurate records to ensure control of property with or without physical possession. This includes the requirement for maintaining a complete trail of all transactions, suitable for audit, and the ability to implement and adhere to associated internal controls.

What is the problem?
The Army is fighting a determined enemy around the world. This new operating environment is characterized by high operational tempo and dynamically changing mission packages. Our agility is essential to react to the contemporary threat. Our supporting flexible equipping strategy translates into larger volumes of equipment changing hands quicker than in the past. While this equipping dynamic is positive for our war fighting capability it presents challenges to soldiers charged with property accountability.

What has the Army done?
During the first part of OIF (May 03), we instituted “Wartime Accountability” rules which essentially relaxed normal peacetime accountability controls. The intent was to unburden field Commanders to allow them to focus on their wartime mission. We rescinded that policy in November 04. To return to tighter controls and regain any decreased level of accountability, the Army executed “Operation Total Recall”. This effort increased the level of accountability of Army assets through policy revision and enforcement, enabled by inventories, training, and the Command Supply Discipline Program (CDSP). This operation addressed battlefield challenges such as time/distance constraints in the Theater of Operations, as well as ensuring administrative housekeeping was updated from the rapid equipping of our forces, while we were under “Wartime Accountability” rules.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army G-4 established a Property Accountability Task Force to further identify problem areas and corresponding solutions in equipment accountability processes. The Task Force has been charged to:

Why is this important to the Army?
Accurate property accountability is the foundation of good stewardship. Knowing what you have across the Army allows precision in both the supporting procurement and depot maintenance programs. It facilitates the most prudent use of resources.

LTC Patrick Harris (703)695-6166