Field Ordering Officer and Paying Agent Handbook
Field ordering officers (FOOs) and paying agents are required to maintain adequate records as to duties during their appointments and to dispose of such records as the contracting officer (for the FOO) and financial management (FM) company commander (for the paying agent) directs. When it comes to handling cash and obligating funds for the government, a lot of paper changes hands. In order to establish control, careful documentation is very important. Do not forget about organization—be able to find that documentation if questions arise later.
At a minimum, files must contain the following:
- A copy of the FOO appointment orders or letter from the contracting officer, a copy of any changes to the orders or letter, and a copy of any termination orders or letter.
- A copy of the paying agent appointment orders or letter from FM unit.
- DA Form 577, Appointment/Termination Record (signature cards for both the FOO and paying agent).
- A copy of Department of Army (DA) Form 3953, Purchase Request and Commitment, providing funds for the paying agent.
- All correspondence concerning duties.
- Names and position titles of individuals on the acquisition team.
- Records of all purchases (Standard Form [SF] 44s [Purchase Order–Invoice–Voucher], ledgers, and invoices).
- Memoranda for record (MFR) of any meetings and discussions with any contractor/vendor or others pertaining to purchases.
- Nomination memorandums from the commander (lieutenant colonel or higher).
- Documentation of all ongoing clearance memos with contracting and FM.
- Pecuniary Liability Statement signed by paying agent issued by the disbursing officer.
The working file is a part of the official file and must be maintained in accordance with the contracting officer’s instructions. The FOO should maintain the file. Further, the working file must be available for the review of the contracting officer, FM company commander or disbursing officer, or other authorized official. Observe the following practices:
- Prepare an MFR no later than one business day after a significant meeting or discussion with any contractor/vendor or the contracting officer. Include records of telephone conversations and trip reports.
- Clearly index all documents and files by group in chronological order in a suitable folder or as the contracting officer directs.
- Forward to the contracting officer any correspondence received from any contractor/vendor or any supported unit.
- Retain records that pertain to unsettled claims, open investigations, cases under litigation, or similar matters until final clearance or settlement.
- Destroy duplicate copies of file documents after they have served their purpose.
- Remember that e-mails are legal documents and should be maintained in your file.
- Maintain records for at least one year after termination of FOO duties. (Contracting office retains file for three years.)
Note: If you discover you are missing files, contact your contracting officer. Remember you should receive your initial working file from your contracting officer during FOO training. The FOO file should be considered confidential and safeguarded appropriately.
The Resource Manager (RM), who certified the fund cite on DA Form 3953, is the official keeper of the files. The RM must maintain copies of all supporting documents for internal review audit purposes. It is the responsibility of the FOO to ensure the RM receives any supporting documents pertaining to the file to include SF 44s, clearing letters from contracting and the Installation Property Book Office, and Department of Defense Form 1081, Statement of Agent Officer’s Account.
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