U.S.

March 30, 2012

GAO reports counterfeit and bogus part numbers found on Internet purchasing platforms

Suspected counterfeit and bogus part numbers, not associated with any authentic military-grade electronic parts, were discovered on Internet purchasing platforms, while being investigated by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

At the request of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, the GAO launched an investigation in August 2011, to examine the threat of counterfeit parts sold to the Department of Defense, which could undermine the military.

“The GAO’s involvement was designed to complement the full committee’s objectives,” said Timothy Persons, chief scientist for the GAO.

The GAO created a fictitious company and gained membership to two Internet platforms providing access to vendors selling military-grade electronic parts.

“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,” the report said.

After submitting requests for quotes on both platforms, the GAO selected the first of any vendor among those offering the lowest prices and that provided enough information to purchase a given part, generally within two weeks. The agency requested parts that were new, not refurbished and were in original packaging.

GAO officials stated in their report that they, “received responses from 396 vendors, of which 334 were located in China; 25 in the United States; and 37 in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan.”

The GAO purchased a total of 16 parts from three categories: (1) authentic part numbers for obsolete and rare parts; (2) authentic part numbers with postproduction date codes (date code after the last date the part was manufactured); and (3) bogus, or fictitious, part numbers that are not associated with any authentic parts.

Under the GAO’s selection methodology, vendors in China provided all 16 parts.

According to the GAO, of the 16 parts purchased, vendors usually responded within a day and none of the 16 parts vendors provided to the GAO were legitimate.

“More specifically, all 12 of the parts received after GAO requested rare part numbers or postproduction date codes were suspect counterfeit, according to the testing lab, and after submitting requests for bogus parts using invalid part numbers, the GAO purchased four parts from four vendors, which shows their willingness to supply parts that do not technically exist,” stated GAO officials in their report to Congress.

To determine whether the parts received were counterfeit, GAO contracted with a qualified, independent testing lab for full component authentication analysis of the first two categories of parts, but not the third (bogus) category.

“Suspect counterfeit,” which applies to the first two categories of parts that were tested, is the strongest term used by the independent testing lab, signifying a potential violation of intellectual property rights, copyrights, or trademark laws, or misrepresentation to defraud or deceive.

Multiple authentication tests, ranging from inspection with electron microscopes to X-ray analysis, revealed that the parts had been re-marked to display the part numbers and manufacturer logos of authentic parts.

Other features were found to be deficient from military standards, such as the metallic composition of certain pieces.

For the parts requested using postproduction date codes, the vendors also altered date markings to represent the parts as newer than when they were last manufactured, as verified by the parts’ makers.

According to the GAO, “Counterfeit parts can seriously disrupt the Department of Defense supply chain, harm weapon systems integrity, and endanger troops’ lives.”

In a November testimony, the GAO summarized preliminary observations from its investigation into the purchase and authenticity testing of selected, military-grade electronic parts that may enter the DOD supply chain.

The GAO worked with the Defense Logistics Agency, which provides supplies and services to U.S. military forces worldwide.

“The GAO’s results are based on a non-generalizable sample and cannot be used to make inferences about the extent to which parts are being counterfeited, ” stated GAO officials.

The Defense Logistics Agency said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News that, “It does not have estimates of how many counterfeit electronic parts are sold to the Defense Department. However, DLA officials said they regard the problem seriously and will take steps to try to keep bogus parts out of their agency’s eight supply chains.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 25, 2014

News: U.S. sends second carrier to Asia amid tensions with China - The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and a Navy P-8 surveillance aircraft. SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight - A SpaceX rocket...
 
 

News Briefs August 25, 2014

China says U.S. plane intercept was professional China’s Defense Ministry has rejected U.S. accusations that a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace. The ministry issued a statement Aug. 23 attributed to spokesman Yang Yujun calling the U.S. accusations groundless. It...
 
 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 

 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 
 

Navy Awards General Dynamics contract for LCS planning yard services

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $100 million contract to provide planning yard services for the Littoral Combat Ship program. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics. Bath Iron Works, as the LCS Planning Yard, will provide maintenance and modernization support for all Navy LCS 1...
 
 
boeing-boc

Boeing, BOC Aviation announce order for 82 airplanes

  Boeing announced Aug. 25 an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>