HSFA Officials Say Keeping Counterfeit Parts out of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Supply Chain Will Help Save Lives and Property
Atlanta, GA – Today, Homeland Security Foundation of America (HSFA) Public Safety Committee Chairman, Matthew Anthes, announced a plan to help identify vulnerabilities within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supply chain. This new effort stems from a recent publication titled, “Maintaining a Secure Homeland: A Plan to keep Counterfeit Parts out of the Supply Chain”, in which HSFA discusses risks associated with government agencies using counterfeit parts. In this white paper, HSFA recommends the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other law enforcement agencies implement a risk based process for the procurement of components no longer available from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) or their authorized distributors.
With a larger focus on the procurement of equipment to help protect our borders, ports, bridges and tunnels, DHS and local agencies are amassing a large fleet of vehicles. As this trend continues, these agencies and departments will need policies and procedures in place, similar to those followed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), to ensure replacement parts and electronics are authentic. This is important for the continued protection of America and our infrastructure.
“Every day the world is changing and new threats emerge,” said Eric Brown, President and Chairman, HSFA. “We’ve identified a potential vulnerability that could be devastating to those who protect our homeland. We know keeping counterfeit components out of the supply chain will reduce loss of life and property in the future. So, we rolled up our sleeves and examined the issue in tandem with experts from the DoD, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and Air Force One to identify best practices and develop a recommended approach. ”
Budgeting tides are shifting more towards DHS, which will increase agency procurement activities. HSFA plans to take the basic tenants outlined in the white paper and create procurement policies with greater emphasis on risk based mitigation procedures. According to Brown, steps can be taken now to identify and remove counterfeit components from the supply chain and mitigate risks of their reentry. HSFA expects this will help law enforcement agencies and department’s procurement managers prevent the emergence of a counterfeit epidemic similar to the one experienced by DOD in the past.
“The DoD and DLA made counterfeit part mitigation an utmost priority,” said U.S. Air Force Major (Ret.) David VanAssche, former Chief Mission Director for Air Force One. “When I served the President as part of the Presidential Airlift Group, we were diligent about every detail, part and process that pertained to maintenance across the board. No detail was overlooked. Those protecting the homeland should be afforded the same protection and guarantee.”
In addition to developing new risk based processes for procurement, HSFA recommends creating an electronic, cloud-based secure online portal that can be used to conduct surveys of existing equipment and vehicles and track the life-cycle, documentation and proper destruction of counterfeit parts pursuant to local, state and Federal laws. This system should be accessible by all stakeholders and protected against misuse. A clearance program may be required to restrict and protect access. For a copy of HSFA’s white paper, “Maintaining a Secure Homeland: A Plan to keep Counterfeit Parts out of the Supply Chain”, visit http://hsfamerica.org/ContactForm.aspx and send a message to Chairman Anthes with your request.
HSFA is a tax-exempt, IRS certified 501(c)(3) agency with an important mission: to advance hometown security while protecting civil liberties by working with local, state and Federal agencies, organizations and communities to deliver life-saving public safety, energy security and health and human services programs to the public. HSFA is not a government agency. For the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), visit http://www.dhs.gov.