There are only a few individuals on base who have been authorized to bind the government in a contract with an outside entity. Those members are also bound to the extent of their appointment limitations.
A commitment made to obligate the government by any employee other than a contracting officer or purchase cardholder is an unauthorized commitment and can result in unfavorable consequences for the person making the commitment. Only appointed contracting officers or delegated government purchase cardholders are authorized to make such commitments.
There is no upside to making an unauthorized commitment.
Air Force procurement authority flows from the Secretary of the Air Force to contracting officers and government purchase cardholders through a written appointment of clearly stated authority and limitations.
Before a vendor is paid, there must be an investigation that is time consuming to determine responsibility and relevant circumstances that involve the commander, legal officer, vendor, contracting officer and others with knowledge of the incident, and the ratifying official. The ratifying official will decide after reviewing the report if the commitment is appropriate for the government to pay the invoice. If it is not, then the individual responsible for the commitment may have to pay the bill.
For more information or for contracting support, call (623) 856-3446.