The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an online ‘sting’ operation to find counterfeit, military grade electronics equipment. According to the report: “GAO created a fictitious company and gained membership to two Internet platforms providing access to vendors selling military-grade electronic parts.” During the sting, the GAO purchased parts from vendors and, of all parts purchased, they were all labeled as ‘suspected counterfeit’ and all of the vendors and parts originated in China. As stated by the GAO during Congressional testimony on the report: “Counterfeit parts—generally the misrepresentation of parts’ identity or pedigree—can seriously disrupt the Department of Defense (DOD) supply chain, harm weapon systems integrity, and endanger troops’ lives.” This study reinforces the importance of quality control within the DOD supply chain. Veterans Trading Company is proud have a quality management system that has been assessed and approved for both ISO9001 and AS9120.
The purchase and implementation of information technology and services can increase supply chain efficiency but are also a source of increasing risk within the supply chain. According to Jon Boyens, a NIST senior information security adviser: “Supply chain risk is significant and growing,” To address the risks, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the 2nd draft of NIST Interagency Report 7622. A final report will be issued by the end of 2012. A statement that accompanies the latest draft of the IR outlines the challenges: “The growing sophistication of technology and increasing speed and scale of a complex, distributed global supply chain leave government agencies without a comprehensive way of managing or understanding the processes from design to disposal, and that increases the risk of exploitation through a variety of means including counterfeit materials, malicious software or untrustworthy products,”
Supply chain security is one part of the Federal Government’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative, which states that managing risk requires a greater awareness of the threats, vulnerabilities and consequences associated with acquisition decisions. IR 7622 outlines 10 prescriptive tasks that can be used to mitigate supply chain risk. Companies should:
- Uniquely identify supply chain elements, processes and actors;
- Limit access and exposure within the supply chain;
- Create and maintain the provenance of elements, processes, tools and data;
- Share information within strict limits;
- Perform supply chain risk management awareness and training;
- Use defensive design for systems, elements and processes;
- Perform continuous integrator review;
- Strengthen delivery mechanisms;
- Assure sustainment activities and processes; and
- Manage disposal and final disposition activities throughout the system or element life cycle
Final guidance will be issued by NIST by the end of 2012. In the meantime they are soliciting comments on IR7622. All comments should be sent to email@example.com by May 25.
Thank you for visiting the Veterans Trading Company’s new blog on Supply Chain Management and Government Contracting. VTC is a Serviced-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business with employees who possess over 100 years of combined industrial distribution experience, 50 years of government prime contracting experience, and 100-plus years of military experience. We feel that we can leverage our significant experience to provide news, and insight on relevant topics. We appreciate your reading and invite you to follow us on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.