During the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing concerning counterfeit electronic parts in the Department of Defense supply chain, Committee members and witnesses discussed the importance of support from the Original Component Manufacturer (OCM) to determine the authenticity of parts that may have been acquired from sources other than the OCM or its authorized suppliers. Witnesses discussed how the OCM’s decision to discontinue product manufacturing cuts off the supply of product from low risk sources and elevates the need for OCM support to identify counterfeits among the remaining supply circulating in the open market.
DOD should encourage the electronic parts OCM community to provide authentication support to defense contractors in addition to DOD and law enforcement. One example of DOD / Industry collaboration is underway between the Semiconductor Industries Association, DOD and D&A industry partners. This collaborative effort seeks to develop a process and associated rules of engagement to enable Government agencies, law enforcement and Government contractors to approach OCMs for support in authenticating or verifying products acquired from other than the OCM or the OCM’s authorized supplier.