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Circumstances of damaging government property

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Have you ever wondered what happens to those people who damage, lose or destroy government property? Well, it depends on the circumstances.

All property that is lost, damaged or destroyed goes through a Report of Survey procedure for accountability.

If it's found that the loss, damage or destruction is a result of gross negligence, willful neglect or unauthorized use on the part of the individual, liability can be assessed from the persons responsible. That simply means money is taken from their paychecks.

The 314th Mission Support Group commander is Little Rock Air Force Base's designated official who assesses involuntary liability.

Liability, in most cases, is limited to a months base pay or actual loss, whichever is less. In some cases though, like a fire in government housing or individual equipment, liability may be the actual amount of damage.

The commander of the owning organization is responsible for initiating the ROS by appointing an investigating official. The investigating official must be an officer, a master sergeant or above or a properly-ranked civilian employee (WG-9, WL-5, WS-1, GS-7 or above). The investigator must be an impartial individual who has no interest or involvement in the custodianship, care, accountability or safe-keeping of the property in question. The individual appointed should outrank the person being investigated. If this is not possible, the unit commander must advise the 314th MSG commander, in writing, as to why. The ROS must be completed within 45 days of discovery of the loss, damage or destruction and must be hand-carried to the ROS program manager.

Before a ROS is initiated on lost property, the unit should ensure a thorough search for the lost item.

But what is a thorough search?

Make sure an AF Form 1297 (Temporary Issue Receipt) on a piece of property is maintained and that the property is still in the possession of the individual who signed the temporary issue receipt.
Equipment or ADPE custodians ensure that those with an AF Form 1297 on file can account for that property. Custodians should not wait until it is time for their annual inventory to conduct an inventory assessment; ensure the property you are responsible for is accounted.
Check to see if the asset was transferred to another unit and check with the gaining unit to see if they have it or can locate it. Contact other units that are likely to have like items. If still unable to locate the item, contact the 314th Logistic Readiness Squadron Flight Service Center or 314th Communications Squadron Equipment Control offices to see if the asset was turned in.

For more information on the ROS program, call Mrs. Patty Webber at 987-3024. (Courtesy 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron)