Library Fact Sheets
ADC - REPORT OF SURVEY|
Printable Fact Sheet
AREA DEFENSE COUNSEL
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.
FACT SHEET ON REPORT OF SURVEY
1. You have just been notified that you are being held liable for damaging government property. You feel that you should not be held liable and you don't know what your next step should be. This fact sheet is designed to give you information concerning the report of survey system and determining an individual's financial liability for the loss or damage of military property.
2. By definition, a Report of Survey is an official report of the facts and circumstances supporting the assessment of financial liability for the loss, damage, or destruction of Air Force-controlled property. It serves as a basis for the government's claim for restitution for the loss or damage against a person, state, territory, or activity. AFR 68-1 (eventually to be superseded by AFI 23-220) prescribes the policies, principles, standards, and procedures when Air Force property is lost, damaged, or destroyed.
3. All Air Force members can be held liable for the loss, damage, or destruction of government property proximately caused by their negligence, willful misconduct, or deliberate unauthorized use. In assessing financial liability, all the facts must be investigated using DD Form 200, Financial Liability Investigation or Property Loss. You should not be held liable for the damages if:
a. You exercised the proper amount of caution and acted as any reasonably prudent person would have;
b. You did not engage in willful misconduct or deliberate unauthorized use; or
c. Your acts were not the proximate cause of the damage.
Liability is based upon the preponderance of the evidence. That is, if the greater weight of the evidence show you were negligent, you'll be held liable. If the weight doesn't support either side, you won't be held liable.
4. The amount of liability varies. For personal arms and equipment (also known as individual equipment) you may be held liable for the entire amount of the government's loss. Accountable officers may also be held liable for the entire amount of the government's loss. For all other government property, except government housing (see para 2-5 for applicable liability), you may be liable for up to one month's base pay.
5. If the loss, damage, or destruction of government property resulted from negligence, willful misconduct, or deliberate unauthorized use of two or more persons, they are held jointly and severally liable for the amount of the loss to the government, subject to the maximum caps discussed above. Joint and several liability means the government can assess any one or all of the responsible parties for the loss, damage, or destruction of government property. If collection cannot be made from any person held jointly and severally liable, the remaining persons are each still liable for the loss to the government up to one month's basic pay (or less depending upon circumstances).
6. Many factors are considered in determining the amount of financial liability:
a. Degree of abuse or negligence involved;
b. The extent, if any, to which involuntary collection would cause substantial financial hardship, constitute a clear injustice, or adversely impact unit morale and discipline;
c. Any prior instances of abusive or negligent misconduct toward government property;
d. Degree of risk arising from assigned duties;
e. Experience and training; and
7. If financial liability is recommended, you will be notified. You have 30 days from notification of recommendation of liability to respond. You have the right to examine the findings and recommendations, to examine the evidence supporting the findings and to submit evidence and statements in your behalf. [This right exists before the report of survey is sent to the approving authority. However, collection action will not be delayed because of your untimely response or failure to follow instructions.] Once the approval authority gets your input, he will decide if you should actually be held financially liable. If the approval authority notifies you he's holding you financially liable, you have 30 days to appeal the decision or (60 days for cases where assessed financial liability exceeds 1 months' basic pay).
8. Within 30 days of notification of liability (if you don't appeal) or 30 days of completion of the appeal process you must voluntarily pay the Air Force or they'll take it out of your pay. Chapter 13 outlines the procedures for reconsideration, appeals and waivers.
9. This fact sheet was intended to give you information concerning Report of Surveys which assess an individual's financial liability for the loss or damage of military property. If you have any further questions read AFR 68-1 and then please feel free to call the Area Defense Counsel at 781-8355.
For more information contact the ADC at 318-456-8355.