Everyone responsible for property accountability
August 13, 2013
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 13, 2013) -- The threat of smaller budgets looming for the Army underpins the significance of Soldiers and civilians entrusted with government property to maintain accountability.
Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials expect leaders at all levels to understand their responsibilities regarding property accountability, and to ensure their subordinates understand and will enforce the procedures.
Accountability is the obligation of each person to keep records of property, documents or funds. These records show identification data, gains, losses, dues-in, dues-out, and balances on hand or in use.
"It is an obligation officially assigned to a specific person and may not be delegated," said Robay Geary, the MICC deputy chief of staff for logistics. "It is the responsibility for an individual or organization to maintain records identifying the gain and loss of government property regardless of how it is acquired."
Leaders across the MICC must place more focus on property accountability by ensuring every piece of equipment that requires formal accounting is placed on the property book, he said.
While it is everyone's personal responsibility to safeguard Army property, leaders must promote and enforce accounting requirements and good stewardship of Army property within the MICC. Brigade commanders and office directors should be auditing their primary hand receipt holders throughout the year to ensure that property is being regular accounted for in accordance with Army regulations. The key link in the chain is the civilian or military supply specialist who is the subject matter experts in the field.
Three policy memorandums guide the MICC's property accountability program. They are Command Policy Memorandum 13-09, Property Accountability; Command Policy Memorandum 12-10, Command Supply Discipline Program; and Command Policy Memorandum 12-11, Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss. These memorandums can be found on the MICC G4 SharePoint site.
CPM 13-09 applies to most MICC personnel. This memorandum provides guidance to personnel regarding property accountability procedures throughout the property life cycle, and helps them manage regulatory requirements.
"How well property is managed and accounted for affects how well an organization can perform its mission over time," Geary said. "For instance, if an organization doesn't accurately know what it has, it can't forecast future needs. In the case of computer equipment, which is how the MICC performs the mission, loss of equipment means reduction mission capability or can result in poor life cycle support."
To support the command's property accountability program, the CMP 12-10 was developed. The Command Supply Discipline Program establishes supervisory responsibilities, accountability and reporting procedures in order to improve and maintain the accountability of resources.
With the establishment of those guidelines and the importance of property accountability comes awareness that a statutory requirement under Title 5 United States Code allows money to be withheld from a person's pay to reimburse the government for loss of property.
"In the end, it is everyone's responsibility to safeguard government property. Accountability and each type of responsibility carry specific duties," Geary said. "Financial liability can be assessed against any person who fails, through negligence or misconduct, to perform those duties and where such failure is the proximate cause of a loss to the government. Any member of the Army, civilian or military, may be charged with responsibility for property."
The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter throughout Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.