DOD Supply Chain: Preliminary Observations Indicate That Counterfeit Electronic Parts Can Be Found on Internet Purchasing Platforms

GAO-12-213T Published: Nov 08, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 08, 2011.
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This testimony discusses the preliminary observations of our ongoing investigation into the availability of counterfeit military-grade electronic parts on Internet purchasing platforms. Counterfeit parts--generally those whose sources knowingly misrepresent the parts' identity or pedigree--have the potential to seriously disrupt the Department of Defense (DOD) supply chain, delay missions, affect the integrity of weapon systems, and ultimately endanger the lives of our troops. Almost anything is at risk of being counterfeited, from fasteners used on aircraft to electronics used on missile guidance systems. There can be many sources of counterfeit parts as DOD draws from a large network of global suppliers. We recently reported that the increase in counterfeit electronic parts is one of several potential barriers DOD faces in addressing parts quality problems. This testimony summarizes preliminary observations from our ongoing investigation into the purchase and authenticity testing of selected, military-grade electronic parts that may enter the DOD supply chain.

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