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Unit Commander’s Guide to Paying Agents Handbook

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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.

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