The military equipments that may be technical like guns, warships radar and so on need to be maintained in a different process than civil equipment. The military equipment can be defined as material issued by the army or belonging to the army, be it a pencil or a battle tank. The accounting is must because of the allotment factor of resources and also because of the necessity of finding the appropriate tools at the appropriate time. Since no person can predict when a solider or a division will be called upon to act immediately it is necessary to maintain all equipments in perfect working order and be able to source all materials and locate them as and when needed. Therefore all personnel must know that it is necessary to be aware of U.S. military property in their possession and to maintain and guard it because not only the safety and efficiency of the army but also their own lives depend on it.
Thus personnel realizing the importance of the accountability of equipment and items are extremely important. Losing any piece of military equipment either issued or borrowed can cause a lot of technical, logistic and legal bother and a lot of problems for the whole base. Finally the individual who lost the equipment becomes incapable of performance and could be charged under the United States Code of Military Justice. Thus there is the moral, preparedness factor and legal accountability with regard to military property that has to be always kept in mind. Therefore borrowed materials will have to be returned with care and the materials in the hands of persons have to be returned and carefully maintained. Materials of the U.S. army are all property of the army and the U.S. government. Issues given to personnel from simple safety pins to complicated machinery that the army uses have to be accounted for. The need to have accountability regarding equipment was stressed during the time of the Second World War.
Procurement of Equipment & Issue
The procurement of equipment is an economic activity and it involves all things like "troops, power machinery, new types of emergency bridges, mine detectors, landing mats, and intricate devices for the compilation and reproduction of maps would become instruments for attaining the speed and efficiency required" in the functioning of the army. (Coll; Keith; Rosenthal, 1958) During 1940 the U.S. started building its army and from that time the army has been improving on materials, gadgets and smallest things. These add up to the general costs and also has immediate use to the person or department it is issued to. In other words the use of things is not predictable. Therefore the lenders of gadgets must take care to see the gadget returned and the borrower of military ware must return it, and the officers in the army have been authorized with the power to order purchases from the 1940s. Thus many of the equipment included items like 'camouflage materials and searchlights, with machinery were formerly purchased.' (Coll; Keith; Rosenthal, 1958)
Property for this classification may be real property or personal property. All army property, except real property, will be classified for property accounting purposes as expendable, durable, or nonexpendable. (APD, 2005) Today however it has been expanded to many things like computers, services and communication items. In the past from the time of the World war, the procurement and issue of equipment was governed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War -- OASW. This was the department necessary for the proper placement of contracts based on the quantities of equipment needed. (Coll; Keith; Rosenthal, 1958)
However earlier there was no method or plan for the materials that were procured or issued. This resulted in a lot of contractor defaults and also theft of army property. The property and their use is also a part of the management process and what happens in government departments and corporations also happens in the army. The management appraisal will be in line with the objectives of the company. Managers have their own egos and there are likelihood that there may be abrasions in the relationship of supervisors, staff and managers who may interact at different levels with different ego points. Thus the requirements of managers from the system may not be always rational and also ethical, it has to be noted that financial and managerial are provided by individuals who are in organizations that are not based on rational actions because the organization comprises of multiple "egos, politics, and hidden agendas." (Schminke, 1998) The most common method of loss occurs due to theft and criminal actions.
Theft, pilferage and borrowings
People generally borrow things and forget to return it or damage the thing borrowed. Apart from this there are persons who are prone to steal. There are two types of pilferers, the first being the casual pilferer who may be a person who habitually steals by temptation and usually there may not be any premeditation involved and the theft is normally slight unless very large numbers of persons are involved. Thus there is a need to document properties and take inventory and keep things carefully locked and in control such that persons with the tendency too pilfer are kept at bay. It also requires a system of issue and return and inventory tracking. ("Field Manual Of Army," n. d.)
This type of theft occurs where there are poor security measures. Casual pilferers are normally employees of and often are never caught. On the other had the professionals are organized and find the method of taking away materials systematically from the depots and other storage and such a systematic pilferer has an organization and plans, and steals with the connivance of well-organized group of people and theft occurs from the storage areas or transit facilities. Such groups steal very large quantities of supplies, with great value, and they follow systematic pilferage activities. ("Field Manual Of Army," n. d.)
Systematic pilferers have a modus operandi that is difficult to detect due to their changing motivational desires and opportunities that induce dishonesty. Thus supplies that is stationary in permanent storage areas or warehouses or when supplies "are being transported in trucks, trains, planes, or ships. The greatest vulnerability and the widest variety of opportunities occur at the various points where supplies are transferred from one means of transportation to another." ("Field Manual Of Army," n. d.) There are regulations and procedures to stop the pilferage, and careful handling of military property. Of late on account of losses the laws have been made very stringent.
Laws regarding army property
The laws require that the authorities dealing with army property must maintain A Stockage List -- ASL of CE supplies and CE repair parts. Likewise an approved stock record account for all items on CE list of materiel, for and a special training base for specialized CE materiel and the same must be identified and periodical performance evaluations and inspections and tracking must be conducted. (APD, 2007) Regulations require that it is the individual obligation to exercise reasonable care and properly use, safeguard all government property in their possession. Thus the personnel entrusted with equipments are therefore the custodians of the army property and therefore are by aw required to look after all such property. This rule also applies to the persons, units and entities that use or own Government property including those "converted to a person's exclusive use, with or without receipt." (APD, 2005)
The obligation of an individual dealing with the government property is to see that the property is not only properly used and cared for, but is also in proper custody, safekeeping, and is issued with the authority of an accountable officer, who has obtained a valid receipt of formal written delegation and the officer and the user will have direct responsibility for property. (APD, 2005) All property must move only with documents and property record cards maintained for stock record accounts and the military members and civilian employees occupying "government quarters are responsible for the damage caused by their dependents' negligence to the quarters and the furnishings and equipment contained therein." (APD, 2005)
It also means that persons would not be assigned to an obligation which will stop them from exercise correct care and custody over the property that they are accountable. Once someone assumes responsibility for property that is remotely set, records should be maintained to indicate the situation of the property and therefore the persons charged with its care and duty. To this end even the laws of search and seizure have been amended in the army. It is akin to the same laws that the U.S. Supreme Court approved for civil law but within the army and has also relaxed the rules of evidence. (Wright, 1987)
Thus any intentional wrongful or unlawful act or omission relating to Government property, that includes all on-hand property carried on property and so on, are a part of financial accounting and…