Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Program Executive Office (PEO)/ Program Manager (PM) Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) Use


The office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) has published an All Army Activity (ALARACT) message on 23 December 2008 concerning the use of PBUSE to field equipment by ASA(ALT) PEO and PMs. You can view this message on ASA(ALT)’s AKO site at https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/558826.

The message:

Mandates the use of PBUSE during equipment fieldings by all PEO/PMs by 1 Apr 09.
a. All previous messages concerning this initiative concentrated on the use of PBUSE in the CENTCOM AOR. This message takes a step further and mandates the use by all PMs no matter where they field equipment.
b. I want to point out that only ASA(ALT) PEO and PMs are mandated to use PBUSE by this message. That means that this message does not direct other fielding agencies such as PM Rapid Equipment Fielding (REF) to use PBUSE. ASA(ALT) does not have that authority.
c. It only applies to equipment that is actually being fielded. If a PM is providing a service, such as optical cable installation on a Forward Operating Base (FOB), PBUSE does not have to be used to provide the equipment for the service.
d. It also will not apply for any PM owned equipment that will remain PM equipment. Usually the PM uses a DA Form 2062 to hand receipt this type of equipment to the using unit. If the items are controlled (weapons, Controlled Cryptographic Items (CCI), etc), the gaining unit should pick up the items on their PBUSE account (PBIC 6) for Army visibility purposes. This ensures that the unit knows they are responsible for the equipment and proper inventories are performed. There is no requirement for the PM to use PBUSE to “hand receipt” equipment that is going to come back to the PM.

Secondly, the message directs the transfer of any equipment from other than the PEO/PMs PBUSE account (such as from TPE PBO PBUSE accounts) to the PM's own PBUSE account by 15 Feb 09. It took awhile for ASA(ALT) to get the PBUSE accounts set-up for PM use. Since this initiative was looked upon as a great idea by the Army, PMs did not wait for their own PBUSE accounts and in Theater started using TPE UICs to field equipment to the gaining units. That means the TPE PBO folks were posting the lateral transfer documents from the TPE account to the gaining unit, perhaps to another TPE account used by the gaining unit vice having the PM perform these duties. All of this equipment on other accounts will need to be transferred over to the PMs PBUSE account by 15 February 2009. We have set this deadline because during a recent Inspector General (IG) inspection, they found these accounts and strongly recommended that the PM manage their own assets.

The message provides guidelines for system manager assignment and PBUSE training.
a. Since the PM PBUSE accounts are not for accountability purposes, we renamed the manager of the account, normally known as a Property Book Officer (PBO), to System Manager. The system manager:
1) is assigned by the PM using Appointment Orders.
2) must be a military or government civilian.
3) has the ultimate responsibility for property management of the PM PBUSE account.
4) may initiate add/delete/modify actions for his/her PBUSE accounts.
5) acts as the Information Security System Officer (ISSO) unless another individual is assigned that duty.

To ensure the PEO/PMs are using PBUSE to field equipment, ASA(ALT) will have an outside agency verify compliance beginning sometime after 30 June 2009. ASA(ALT) is currently coordinating with the Army Audit Agency (AAA) to determine if they are available to do an audit.

I want everyone to understand the reason that ASA(ALT) will be using PBUSE to field equipment – to ensure that the gaining command assumes accountability of the equipment they are issued. The gaining command is ultimately responsible for the accountability. If the unit PBO refuses to accept the PM PBUSE lateral transfer, the property remains on the PMs account and the gaining command is not properly accounting for the equipment they have been issued. We are right back where we were before this initiative.

Therefore, it is the gaining command’s responsibility to ensure that the PBO accepts the lateral transfer. Right now there is not an easy way to determine if there are documents out there that have not been accepted. The Logistics Support Agency (LOGSA) is working that issue and is designing a PM module inside the Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW) to help the PM and gaining command determine what equipment has been issued and not accepted.

The message states again that the fielding is not completed until the gaining command accepts the PBUSE transfer. This is important. But just because the PM fields the equipment does not mean that they are responsible in making the PBO accept the transfer. ASA(ALT) is not going to allow anyone to continue to point fingers at our PMs for the lack of accountability by the gaining units. ASA(ALT) intends to aggressively manage these PBUSE accounts. Any PBO that refuses to accept a transfer better have a good reason why because they will most likely be answering to a General Officer inquiry 15 days after the issue. Gaining commands, if you don’t want these GO inquires, you need to have a plan on how you are going to ensure the PBO accepts PBUSE transfers for any equipment in the unit.

I have talked to a couple of PBOs already who want to tell me that they won’t accept the equipment transfer because their unit says they didn’t get the equipment (despite the fact that the PM has provided a signed document and signature card from the unit commander). Or, they wanted it on another PBIC code, the unit is not authorized the item, or didn’t want the equipment. If the unit has signed for the equipment, it needs to go on an Army accountable record. Gaining units – that is your responsibility to make sure that happens.

I want to make it clear that it will not be the PMs fault that equipment is not properly accounted for when appropriate signed paperwork has been provided to the PBO. PBOs, you have been warned.

This PBUSE initiative has the interest of the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. Do I need to say more?

If you want to read the internal guidance provided to the PEO and PMs concerning the use of PBUSE, ASA(ALT)’s PBUSE guide can be found on their AKO site (https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/558826).