We as federal managers, Soldier and Civilian alike, we have an inherent obligation to administer Internal Controls effectively within our organizations. We owe it to our Commanders, Managers, and more importantly, we owe it to those who resource our missions, operations and our very well being -- the American Taxpayer.
The United States Army has established and uses a formal code of conduct as well as other policies communicating appropriate ethical and moral behavioral standards in addressing acceptable operational practices and conflicts of interest. Arguably, the most important of this is the Seven Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect for Others, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
Consider the following: These Seven Army Values are comprehensive in nature and directly address issues that we all face in our day to day operations and our daily lives. Quite simply, we must keep the Army Values in mind at all times and as it relates to our daily duties, we must remain attentive to the necessary internal controls within our concern and ensure they are in place and in fact, working as intended. Many dilemmas that we routinely face have the potential to bring one or more of our personal Army Values into question. We oftentimes hear of, or have personal knowledge of, improper payments, inappropriate use of resources, conflicts of interest, political activities of employees, acceptance of gifts or donations, and generally a lack of due professional care. These values are periodically acknowledged by all employees and Soldiers and we know what manner of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable and what penalties unacceptable behavior may bring.
As federal managers, we strive to achieve the missions and goals of the 108th Training Command (IET) and provide accountability for our operations and missions. Therefore, we must continually assess and evaluate our internal control structure to assure that it is well designed and managed appropriately. It is not that we settle for the “status quo” of internal controls, but that we update them to meet our ever changing conditions to provide that “reasonable assurance” that the objectives of the Commanders are being achieved. Specifically, Commanders and Managers must examine their internal controls to determine how well your unit or section is performing, how it may be improved, and the degree to which it helps identify and address major risks for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.
John Adams once said, “In all things, one must consider the end”. The words of this quote holds true today just as it did in 1775 on the floor of the Second Continental Congress. When assessing our internal controls and our daily duties for that matter, we must “consider the end” result of our processes.
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