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The initialism AVO stands for "Avoid Verbal Orders" and refers to a written document that provides direction or instruction. I think the meaning is clear from the name... someone was fed up with "he said, she said" conflict.

I think it is used a lot in defense and aerospace, especially NASA. Did NASA come up with it?

I did find that Hughes Aircraft Company used the term in 1987, as documented in a lawsuit against the company:

... she told me to prepare an AVO [avoid verbal orders memorandum] to her with a rationale for the change ...

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    It ought to have been written down. Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 16:02

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The term was in use well before NASA:

MotorBoating (Magazine) Dec 1929

Image of page 111

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