Field Ordering Officer and Paying Agent Handbook
Conduct and Standards
Field ordering officers (FOOs) and paying agents must establish and maintain conduct and behavior above reproach. Therefore, FOOs and paying agents must avoid doing or appearing to do anything improper. Included in this prohibition are actions such as the following:
- Accepting anything of value (e.g., meals, baseball caps, coffee cups, pens, etc.).
- Making government purchases from a vendor with whom they have or appear to have a financial interest.
- Doing anything that might adversely affect the public’s confidence in the government’s integrity.
Reference: Department of Defense Directive 5500.7-R, Joint Ethics Regulation.
Samuel Adams once said, “The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men,” and Henry Clay added, “Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”
Fraud is the intentional presentation of falsehoods as truth with the goal of causing someone to part with something of value under false pretenses. Violators can receive punishments of prison time from five to ten years and/or receive fines up to $250,000. Contracting and procurement fraud schemes involve:
- Product substitution.
- Defective pricing.
- Cost mischarging.
- Price fixing.
- Record fabrication.
- Bribes, gratuities, and kickbacks (common threats within deployed environments).
- Government employee collusion and individual fraud.
FOOs and paying agents are not investigators and must not personally investigate suspected cases. Determine the facts of questionable circumstances and occurrences, and advise the appropriate contracting officer, financial management company commander, commander, supervisor, or criminal investigative agency.
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