When you see the term "counterfeit parts" what do you immediately think? I know to me the word "counterfeit" will always bring an immediate association to "counterfeit money" to me and obviously major felony crime implications. To the government, "counterfeit parts" mean parts whose identity or pedigree is knowingly misrepresented. This also can have felony implications. But, according to the GAO report, the government does not have a consistent means to identify all instances of counterfeit parts. The General Accounting Office (GAO) did a report earlier this year regarding 3 major objectives: 1) The DoD's knowledge of counterfeit parts in the supply chain, 2) The DoD's process to detect and prevent counterfeit parts and 3) commercial initiative to mitigate the risk of counterfeit parts. Part of the difficulty found by the GAO was that there is no consistent definition of counterfeit and no consistent means to identify this type of part. There also could be inadvertant mistakes like whether or not stainless steel washers are covered under the Berry Ammendment or not covered per the DNAD issued December 8, 2006. The point is that there are parts in the system that are counterfeit. We don't know how many but we do know that they can affect not only the integrity of products used (integrity of military parts due to this issue is not acceptable) but possibly the delivery schedule. The GAO report recommends specific guidance and dissemination to defense contractors. This could mean more contract requirements but this is a "good" contract requirement. We don't need parts that are supplied with misrepresented identity or pedigree. Maybe this will also keep more jobs, albeit in a small way, in this country. That is a good thing.
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