Government - Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP)

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Suspect Counterfeit Data


The counterfeiting of components and assemblies used in the government has increased notably during the past decade. The extent of the counterfeiting problem has been documented in a number of high level reports such as the Department of Commerce report titled "Defense Industrial Base Assessment: Counterfeit Electronics" and the General Accountability Office (GAO) report titled "DOD Should Leverage Ongoing Initiatives in Developing Its Program to Mitigate Risk of Counterfeit Parts". These triggered congressional hearings that resulted in mandates for to DoD to curtail the impact on its weapon systems.

Counterfeiting has expanded beyond commodity areas such as, audio, video, and game recordings into the areas of electronic parts for critical health and defense systems. The aerospace industry has seen a rapid growth in reports of counterfeits and is trying to better support anti-counterfeit efforts through various interagency and industry efforts.

GIDEP contains information on equipment, parts, and assemblies which are suspected to be counterfeit. After visual inspections and, in many cases, extensive testing and analysis, GIDEP members provide fact-based reports on items received that are suspected to be counterfeit. The GIDEP reports on these items are important to many of the participating companies and activities since it allows these activities to actively screen their inventories for items which might have been identified as counterfeit.

Since the manufacturers of parts which may have been copied have little or no responsibility for counterfeit items in the supply chain, it is incumbent on government and industry equipment makers and customers to use GIDEP as a central repository for sharing information on suspect products. U.S. Federal Agencies, including DoD, and Industry Associations are actively engaged in developing policy and guidelines to assist government and industry alike in the mitigation of issues related to counterfeit. On 26 April, 2013, DoD signed out an instruction DoDI4140.67 "DoD Counterfeit Prevention Policy" which, in part, states that it is policy to "Document all occurrences of suspect and confirmed counterfeit materiel in the appropriate reporting systems including the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP)".


A strong reporting program helps prevent the recirculation of items suspected to be counterfeit in the supply chain. In addition, it is important to minimize the introduction of items suspected to be counterfeit into Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems and other programs critical to the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Although the majority of information in GIDEP on counterfeit parts is related to electronic components, there is also information on other types of commodities, such as, valves, fasteners, circuit breakers, etc. Suspect Counterfeit reports assist users in avoiding an impact on the availability, reliability, maintainability, quality and safety of their systems and equipment. These suspect counterfeit issues may result in significant unplanned expenditures to user organizations, and more importantly, may avoid or reduce injuries and saved lives. The ongoing availability of timely suspect counterfeit data can help preclude equipment/system malfunctions, and help obviate the need for equipment redesign.

Submitting Data

Suspect Counterfeit reports are special non-conformances under the Failure Experience Data (FED). Using appropriate forms (ALERT, SAFE-ALERT, Problem Advisory, and Agency Action Notice) within FED depending on the problem type, manufacturers and GIDEP participants can submit suspect counterfeit data to the GIDEP Operations Center electronically. A manufacturer does not have to be a member of GIDEP to submit data to the program. In fact, GIDEP welcomes and encourages the submission of suspect counterfeit reports by non-participating companies (as long as these are reports on product marked as theirs) by using the forms. As a related factor, programs should monitor the parts they plan to use that approaching obsolescence. These items are "ripe" for counterfeiting.

(See Reporting Suspect Counterfeit Parts)

Related FAQ

Q: Why are suspect counterfeit reports considered Failure Experience Data?
Q: How is the suspect counterfeit data stored?
Q: Where does the suspect counterfeit data come from?
Q: What happened to the Interim Counterfeit reporting policy that was in effect a couple of years ago?

Q: Why are suspect counterfeit reports considered Failure Experience Data?
A: Suspect counterfeit issues commonly are non-conformances and can lead to failures or degradation in reliability in end-items. Consequently, a suspect counterfeit issue would appropriately be reported as one of the four primary types of FED reports: Alerts, Safe Alerts, Problem Advisories, and Agency Action Notices. The detailed guidelines for submitting a report and other FED information can be found in Chapter 7 of the GIDEP Operations Manual.

Q: How is the suspect counterfeit data stored?
A: Suspect counterfeit data is maintained in an on-line relational database. The GIDEP database has reports of ALERTs, SAFE-ALERTs, Problem Advisories, and Agency Action Notices in pdf format. Documents can be searched for using part number, keyword, date range, or other related information.

Q: Where does the suspect counterfeit data come from?
A: Information on suspect counterfeit products is primarily submitted by Independent Distributors, government organizations and industry contractors that find the discrepancy. They submit fact-based information to GIDEP supported by test reports and photographs as appropriate. Agency Action Notices may only be issued by government activities.

Q: What happened to the Interim Counterfeit reporting policy that was in effect a couple of years ago?
A: During the period Sep - Dec 2010 an interim policy was authorized where counterfeit reports could be submitted to GIDEP with the identifiation of the supplier optional. Based on the data submittal results from this period it was determined that the interim policy was not meeting the GIDEP community's needs. Therefore, the interim policy was discontinued and is no longer in effect.

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