The number of electronic component suppliers that pose significant risks to the US government defense supply chain has increased substantially over the last nine years, according to researcher IHS Corp., which says the jump has occurred despite efforts to curb their presence in the system.
In a report emailed today to reporters, IHS said the number of suppliers classified as high-risk in the US government supply chain surged 63 percent between 2002 and 2011, rising to 9,539 from 5,849 10 years ago. These suppliers were “reported either for known involvement in high-risk, fraudulent and suspect counterfeit-part transactions, or for conduct identified by the government as grounds to debar, suspend or otherwise exclude from contract participation.”
The government has been warning about the dangers to the defense supply chain from counterfeiters and has in recent years taken steps to tighten up the system. It recently passed a law that puts the onus of ensuring the safety of the defense supply chain directly on suppliers as well as the equipment manufacturers supplying products to the government. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, for instance, strictly compels suppliers to certify the authenticity of products supplied to the government. The law imposes severe penalties on companies in violation of the Act and has led in recent months to an increase in the reported number of counterfeiting incidents.
“Instances of these parts and poor conduct and unscrupulous activity are being reported at record levels,” said Vicki Knauf, parts logistics expert and Haystack product manager, supply chain solutions, at IHS in the statement:
- It's abundantly clear that supplier risk is real, extensive and growing. It's a federal acquisition requirement to screen for debarred, suspended or otherwise excluded parties. A key component of developing a secure supply chain includes the use of Trusted Suppliers. Pinpointing probabilities of risk, blacklisting and vetting high-risk suppliers is crucial to developing a resilient supply chain that fends off devious behavior.
IHS identified the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as one of the major government branches that has been active in combating counterfeiting in its supply chain. The agency is reported to have “put in place many processes and procedures aimed at counterfeit detection and avoidance,” according to IHS.
NASA will on Nov. 2 at 12:00 noon EST hold a Webinar on the topic of counterfeit detection and avoidance. The presentation will be hosted by the EDN Network, a sister publication to EBN, and will feature as speakers Steven Foster, who works in procurement quality assurance at NASA, and Rory King, director of supply chain global product marketing at IHS. Click here for more information about the Webinar.