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  • Question

    Is there any time that pins, awards, or coins be considered non-retirement items?


    Answer

    You need to read AFI 36-2805 entitled, Air Force Special Trophies and Awards Program, dated 21 June 2018.  According to Paragraph 1.3.3 -- One-Time Awards, a one-time award (or trophy) may be presented to an individual or team members (except contractor employees) whose achievements make a significant contribution to the effectiveness and efficiency of the Air Force. Refer to paragraph 4.31 of AFI 65-601, Volume 1, for on the spot recognition to include coins.

    However, in order to make such purchases with appropriated funds (APF), the unit commander (leader) must first publish a 36-series AFI or appropriate supplement outlining the organization’s recognition program.

    Keep in mind, there are limits on the purchasing and distribution of awards even for the purpose of recognizing outstanding duty performance and/or mission contributions on the part of Air Force personnel.  For example, APF-funded awards are NOT intended for non-DOD personnel, foreign personnel, contractors, etc. Also, they should not be given to non-appropriated funded employees or volunteers.

    Also, it's important to note that acq.osd.mil list the following as prohibited items to purchase with the Government Purchase Card:

    Trophies, gifts, awards, plaques, and mementos as give-away items for hails, farewells, and other occasions-Appropriated funds may not be used for personal gifts unless there is specific statutory authority to do so (68 Comp. Gen. 226, 1989).  Examples of decisions where the Comptroller General determined expenditures to be improper included key chains distributed to educators who attended seminars sponsored by the Forest Service (54 Comp. Gen 976, 1975), novelty plastic garbage cans containing candy distributed by the EPA at an exposition (67 Comp. Gen. 385, 1978), and T-shirts stamped with Combined Federal Campaign logo to be given to employees contributing a certain amount (70 Comp. Gen., B-240001, Feb 8, 1991). Limited exception:  The purchase of give-away items when specifically authorized by regulation may be authorized.

    Before making this purchase, I strongly recommend that you obtain guidance from your legal counsel, approving official and A/OPC to ensure compliance with the Air Force Government Purchase Card regulation, AFI 64-117, dated 22 JUNE 2018.  In paragraph 1.4 -- Information Process, it states: 

                  Cardholders should direct all questions to their Level 5 approving official. If the Level 5 approving officials cannot resolve the issue, they shall direct the issue to their Level 4, Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC). If the Level 4 A/OPC cannot resolve an issue, they should forward to the Level 3, and onto the Level 2 GPC Program Manager for guidance if necessary. Key policy, guidance, and GSA SmartPay contractual information is accessible via the following links: Defense Procurement Acquisition Policy- AF Contracting Central/GPC Section - GSA SmartPay.

    Here's the link for GSA SmartPay: https://smartpay.gsa.gov/content/purchase

    Finally, these regulations change frequently, so I strongly recommend taking any opportunity for obtaining refresher card holder training to help you stay current on GPC policies and procedures. 

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