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Oh boy:

http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2016/03/30/marine-corps-broke-plane-parts-museum-raid-aviation-thornberry/82416918/

The author apportions blame to Congress for fighting over the budget, and also to procurement:

Quote

Thornberry said that several service members have told him they’ve started buying “basic supplies” like pens and cleaning products “because otherwise it would take three to four months to get them if they could get them at all.”

I initially read this sentence as:

Thornberry said that several service members have told him they’ve started buying “basic supplies” like [they would buy] pens and cleaning products “because otherwise it would take three to four months to get them if they could get them at all.”

However, the author may actually mean this given the context:

Thornberry said that several service members have told him they’ve started buying “basic supplies” like pens and cleaning products [with their personal funds] “because otherwise it would take three to four months to get them if they could get them at all.”

It's hard to believe no one has a purchase card to buy pens or cleaning supplies.  Either way, it appears soldiers are have problems getting things.

I may have to keep our parts warehouse stocked one day, and would love to hear discussion as to what the challenges are.  Thanks in advance.

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4 minutes ago, apsofacto said:

That sucks.  Are there any purchase card holder nearby?  When you asked, did you ask another person to create a requisition?  Or did you create a requisition which fell into a black hole?

Delay in funds approval, then changed cardholder hands, wasn't a priority, etc...  Typical situation.  Sadly, I knew what to expect.

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This should come as no surprise to anyone, but there are two worlds in military contracting,  the "haves" and the "have nots". I have worked in every type of contracting office imaginable. From deployed operational units to DC. Guess which one is flush? At the operation level, I have been a party to pulling staples from contract folders just to be able to reuse the folders.  I too, have been buying personal office supply items for years. I've been in deployed environments, where military and government civilians had to share old beat-up Toyota Rhino's to get around, while support contractors buzzed by in plush brand new Suburban's.  Having said all that, I've always managed to get what I needed and enjoyed the moral high ground conserving government funds. As for the credit card access, yes it is available, but it is tiring having to justify to several individuals, why you need a  note tablet, when it is so much easier to buy it with your personal funds. 

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1 hour ago, Todd Davis said:

I asked for my agency to buy me a $40 battery for my telephone headset at work.  Still don't have it on order almost two months later despite it being readily available on GSA Advantage.  I've been buying my own minor office supplies for years.

I've been using fountain pens exclusively for a few years now; this usually involves me buying my own paper as well. In fact, other than things attached to the desk, I supply all of my own office supplies. I think that's a sort of personal pride in your work environment. I never understood folks who wouldn't do that for themselves for ideological means.

EDIT: So far as I can recall, the offices I've worked in had at least annual "office supply runs" to refill on essentials. I also remember having to beg for office paper from other organizations because we had entirely exhausted our office's supply before the end of the fiscal year.

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This is nothing new to me.  One year the office ran out of printer paper at fiscal year end and there were no more funds - at least that is what they told us.   I have had to purchase my own paper, pens, post-its, folders, and desk organizational items on many occasions.  I always kept a list and receipts for everything I bought and would take the costs off my taxes as a business expense every year.  The receipts came in especially handy once when I was relocating for a promotion.  The admin person in the office from which I was departing went to the chief of that office and I had to produce receipts for the larger items I was packing to take with me - with the exception of obviously personal items.   

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