DOD PROPOSED RULE ON COUNTERFEIT IT ADDRESSES HALF OF THE PROBLEM
Commercial IT providers would have to put in place systems that track BOTH end items and major IT components from the OEM to the government agency under a proposed rule issued by DOD last week. Yet the rule, at best, will only address half of the counterfeit product issue. Left untouched is the drive toward LPTA or other deep discount buying that creates situations where government buyers, not just those in DOD, seek discounts of 40%, 50% or more from established contract prices. When a bid comes in that meets those deep discount expectations, buyers frequently say, “Told ya so.” The company on the other end, however, is frequently saying, “gotcha.” News flash: Nothing comes for free. If an agency gets such deep discounts on commercial IT products, a pat down of the contractor is likely more in order than a pat on the back for the buyer. Government agencies need to do their part in ensuring they buy authentic IT equipment. A deal that seems too good to be true, probably is. While buying real product from authorized sources may cost more up front, it can save your agencies from significant, sometimes catastrophic, problems later on. The DOD rule will become final in some form in the next few months. When it does, contractors will have to work to create new systems, but government buyers will have to understand that the LPTA floor just got raised as well and that responsible acquisition is everyone’s business.