D. Accountability and Liability

1. Equipment

Team members are responsible for three types of equipment and supplies at a disaster: expendable, nonexpendable, and personal.

Expendable. Those items that are issued for use at a disaster site and are used up, consumed, or possibly left at the disaster site for use by victims or local individuals involved in continuing disaster relief efforts. Expendable items include office supplies, gloves, small water containers, plastic sheeting, blankets, tents, hardhats, and hand tools. When issuing expendable items to local relief workers, be sure that the items are needed for the immediate relief effort. Some expendable items have proven to be personally attractive and particularly susceptible to being used for purposes other than relief activity.

Nonexpendable. Those items issued for use at a disaster and can be returned and refurbished for use on future assignments. Nonexpendable items include vehicles, radios, generators, specialized tools, and computers.

Personal. Those items, such as clothing, toiletries, extra glasses, and medications that an individual takes to a disaster to attend to his or her personal needs. Cameras, binoculars, shortwave radios, and such items are considered personal items unless specifically required or provided by OFDA.

2. Accountability

If OFDA deploys a DART or an Assessment Team to assist the USAID Mission or U.S. Embassy (USAID/Embassy) in the affected country, OFDA will become accountable at the field level for the distribution of all funds, supplies, equipment, and commodities used in disaster relief operations. Team members have the responsibility to account for all items they consume, use, dam-age, destroy, or lose. This accounting must be done through a documentation system that tracks receipt and disposition. Team members should always receive and keep an inventory of items for which they are responsible. Supervisors are responsible for identifying the method and level of tracking necessary for each disaster based on direction from the Team Leader. Lost or dam-aged items must be accounted for with a written statement explaining the circumstances. When a question arises over whether an item is expendable, the Team Leader is responsible for making the decision. Certain disaster situations may call for issuing nonexpendable items to local agencies for use beyond the deployment of the team. Such issues should be documented through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by both parties, becoming part of the team documentation. The Team Leader has the final team authority to decide what will or will not be left.

If OFDA does not deploy a DART or Assessment Team, the accountability for funds or relief supplies, materials, and equip-ment provided by OFDA rests primarily with the recipient USAID Mission in the affected country.

3. Liability

Team members are liable for items lost or destroyed through poor accounting or performance. Problems arising from poor accounting or performance will be resolved with the appropriate representatives of the member’s parent agency. Applicable USAID regulations will be used during the resolution.

TOC: General Responsibilities and Information