NEWS | Nov. 18, 2013

Private organizations

By 628th Air Base Wing and 315th Airlift Wing Staff Judge Advocates offices

A private organization is a self-sustaining, special interest group, set up by people acting outside the scope of any official position they may have in the federal government. Private organizations are neither integral parts of the military service nor are they federal entities. They are not non-appropriated fund instrumentalities and they are not entitled to the sovereign immunities and privileges given to NAFIs. When the current monthly assets (which include cash inventories, receivables and investments) of an unofficial activity or organization exceeds a monthly average of $1,000 over a three-month period, the activity/organization must become a PO, discontinue on-base operations, or reduce its current assets.

Each private organization must be approved in writing by the installation commander or his/her designee. The Force Support Squadron commander or director monitors and advises all private organizations and directs the Resource Management flight chief to keep a file on each PO. The Resource Management flight chief reviews each PO annually to make sure documents, records and procedures are in order.

Private organizations must be self-sustaining and cannot receive direct financial assistance from a NAFI in the form of contributions, dividends or donations. Logistical support to private organizations is also very limited. Agencies should consult the Staff Judge Advocate before supporting POs in any way.

Each PO has the responsibility of obtaining adequate insurance or waiver thereof by the installation commander or designee. A waiver of the insurance requirement will not protect the private organization or its members from valid claims or successful suits. Each member of the PO must be notified that he/she could be held financially liable for the acts of the PO. Proof of this notification, and understanding on the part of the member, needs to be documented. Private organizations will not engage in activities that duplicate or compete with any base services activity, NAFI or the Army and Air Force Exchange Service without proper authorization.

Fundraising by POs is governed by AFI 36-3101 and the Joint Ethics Regulation. Private organizations are prohibited from conducting games of chance, lotteries or other gambling activities, except in very limited circumstances, e.g., certain types of raffles as set forth under South Carolina law. Private organizations are not authorized to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Private organizations will not engage in resale activities unless specific authorization is granted. The installation commander or designee may authorize occasional sales for fund raising purposes such as bake sales, dances, carnivals and similar infrequent functions.

"Occasional sales" for fund-raising purposes is specifically defined as not more than two fund-raising events per calendar quarter. This prohibition against frequent or continuous resale activities does not preclude collective purchasing and sharing of purchased items by members of POs or unofficial activities and organizations so long as there is no actual resale. All fundraising requests must originate with the 628th FSS and should provide at least 30 days for the routing process.

Please see http://www.jbcharleston.com/private-organizations for more information.