DoD Adoption of Industry Standards

A number of readers asked questions about what DoD adoption means and how it relates to DoD use of an adopted standard. The Defense Standardization Program Office provided the following comments:

“Adoption is analogous to the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.’ It means that a non-government standard has been vetted through some standards offices in DoD and they have found the standard to be suitable to meet general DoD requirements. Also, adoption gives the standard visibility by being included in the DoD online ASSIST database, which is the repository for all standardization documents approved or adopted under the Defense Standardization Program. Adoption also assigns a DoD point of contact to oversee future changes and any questions or issues within the DoD with the standard. If it is ever determined that a DoD-adopted standard does not meet the general requirements, adoption can be withdrawn. No standard in the DoD, whether government or non-government, is automatically mandatory. The only way that any standard becomes mandatory is if it is required by law or regulation, DoD policy, or in a contract. Otherwise, a standard is just a tool waiting to be used. It is up to the program office or buying organization to decide whether to use a standard. Very few standards, whether government or non-government, have been designated as mandatory by law, regulation, or DoD policy on an enterprise-wide level.”

Here are resources to refer to concerning DoD adoption of standards …

DoD Policy on the Use of Non-Government Standards

DoD 4120.24-M Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Policies and Procedures

Policy Memo 00-3, DoD Adoption of Non-Government Standards (07-NOV-2000)

ASSIST database

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Counterfeit Prevention Standards Adopted by DoD (as of 10 June 2013)


Title: Counterfeit Electronic Parts; Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation, and Disposition

Status: Active

Adoption Date: 31-AUG-2009


Title: Parts, Electronic, Fraudulent/Counterfeit: Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation, and Disposition – Distributors Counterfeit Electronic Parts; Avoidance Protocol, Distributors

Status: Active

Adoption Date: 10-JUN-2013

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Henry Livingston


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