Unit commanders have a valuable "bullet in their ammo pouch" of money as a weapons system resources to win on the battlefield-the paying agent. This handbook provides unit commanders, paying agents, and field ordering officers (FOOs) a reference guide on procedures for funding and clearing funds on the battlefield. The following individuals work hand-in-hand, but their responsibilities are separate.
A paying agent is a U.S. military member or Department of Defense civilian employee appointed by the commander to act as an agent of a disbursing officer. The purpose of a paying agent is to make specific payments from funds temporarily advanced to the agent by the disbursing officer for a specific purpose. Only when specifically authorized in writing are paying agents permitted to cash checks. Funds advanced to a paying agent are held at personal risk by the agent and must be accounted for to the disbursing officer immediately upon completion of the transactions for which advanced. A paying agent cannot serve simultaneously as a FOO. The paying agent cannot make purchases without authorization from the FOO.
A financial management company provides financial policies and guidance, provides cash, receives cash and/or documentation showing expenditure of cash, and provides paying agent training.
FOOs provide their commanders with the ability to quickly and directly make local purchases to support their mission-what we know as "cash and carry." They do the shopping, deal with vendors, and prepare the Standard Form 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher. The local contracting office trains and certifies FOOs on procedures for ordering and obtaining supplies. A FOO cannot serve simultaneously as a paying agent. FOOs cannot make purchases with the paying agent's money.
The contracting office awards contracts and trains and certifies the FOOs.
The property book officer (PBO) at battalion level determines and posts the purchased items onto the unit's property book. The PBO then monitors unit property, and the unit supply sergeant manages all unit logistics actions and documentation.
(Note: This handbook is a guide. Some variation in procedures may exist. The disbursing officer will provide specific guidance to his paying agents.)
Last Reviewed: May 18, 2012