Defense Authorization Bill Includes Bipartisan Asset Tracking Provision
Washington, D.C. – This week the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that will authorize funding for defense programs in the year ahead. The final bill, which was unveiled last week, includes a bipartisan provision authored by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to strengthen the military’s “asset tracking” efforts. These efforts can save taxpayer dollars and help prevent counterfeit military items from entering the supply chain.
“This provision will help encourage the use of state of the art barcode tracking technology for military assets,” said Whitehouse. “This technology can help improve inventory management for military equipment and parts, while also cutting costs. It can also help to identify counterfeit items that pose serious risks to our troops.”
“The Defense Department is wasting billions of dollars a year due to ineffective financial and supply management practices,” said Portman. “We need to solve these problems as we seek to find savings in the Defense budget while maintaining the superiority of our force. This initiative will force the Pentagon to accelerate solutions and get much-need input from industry partners that are at the cutting edge of supply chain management.”
The Whitehouse-Portman legislation would:
- Require the Department of Defense (DOD) to include in its report to Congress a description of how improved asset tracking and in-transit visibility could enhance audit readiness, reduce counterfeit risk, enhance logistical processes and benefit the Department of Defense.
- Require a detailed description of asset marking requirements and how automated information and data capture technologies could improve readiness, cost effectiveness, and performance.
- Require a defined list of all categories of items that program managers shall identify for the purposes of asset marking.
- Require a description of steps to improve asset tracking for classified programs.
- Require steps to be undertaken to facilitate collaboration with industry designed to capture best practices, lessons learned, and any relevant technical matters.
These provisions are strongly supported by industry stakeholders, including A2B Tracking, a Rhode Island company that manufactures unique identification technology for the military.
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