[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 153 (Tuesday, August 9, 2011)]
[Pages 48905-48907]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-20204]



United States Government Inter-Agency Anti-Counterfeiting Working 
Group: Request for Public Comments Regarding Strategy to Eliminate 
Counterfeit Products from the United States Government Supply Chain

AGENCY: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and 

ACTION: Request for written submissions from the public.


SUMMARY: The Federal Government is currently undertaking a significant 
effort to eliminate counterfeit products from the U.S. Government 
supply chain. In June 2010, Vice President Biden and White House 
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, 
announced the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property 
Enforcement, laying out a coordinated government-wide approach to 
strengthening intellectual property enforcement and directing the 
establishment of an inter-agency working group. Recent reports issued 
by the Department of Commerce and the Government Accountability Office 
have found that counterfeits have infiltrated many sectors of the U.S. 
Government supply chain and have the potential to cause serious 
disruptions in national defense, critical infrastructure and other 
vital applications. This working group will develop a framework for 
reducing vulnerability to counterfeits that is flexible enough to 
accommodate the wide variety of missions across Federal agencies. This 
cross-functional working group will identify any gaps in legal 
authority, regulation, policy and guidance that undermine the security 
of U.S. Government supply chain from counterfeit parts. The working 
group's examination will include reviewing current industry standards, 
the ability of prime contractors and their suppliers to authenticate or 
trace at-risk items to the original manufacturer, government evaluation 
and detection capabilities and limitations, and contractual enforcement 
of authenticity.

DATES: Submissions must be received on or before September 16, 2011 at 
5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Public comment should be electronically submitted to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number OMB-2011-0003. The regulations.gov 
Web site is a Federal E-Government Web site that allows the public to 
find, review and submit comments on documents that agencies have 
published in the Federal Register and that are open for comment. If you 
are unable to provide submissions to http://www.regulations.gov, please 
contact James Schuelke at (202) 395-1808 to arrange for an alternate 
method of transmission. Submissions filed via the regulations.gov Web 
site will be available to the public for review and inspection. If you 
want to submit confidential business information that supports your 
comments, please contact Michael Lewis at 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Lewis, Office of the 
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, at (202) 395-1808.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The core members of the Working Group are 
the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) 
in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the Executive Office of 
the President; Department of Defense (DoD); National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration (NASA); and the General Services Administration 
(GSA). These core members, along with other government components, have 
partnered to identify areas of common interest and compare progress and 
best practices to ultimately eliminate counterfeits in the government-
wide supply chains. The working group will work to accomplish the 
following objectives:
     Objective 1--Develop procedures for program 
managers to identify items at risk for counterfeiting or requiring 
authentication of legitimacy. These procedures will, to the greatest 
extent practicable, utilize current industry standards.
     Objective 2--Examine whether additional 
administrative actions, including regulatory actions, are needed to 
require suppliers to take stronger anti-counterfeiting measures.
     Objective 3--Examine when and how product and 
package traceability, reporting and marking processes can be used by 
prime contractors, their suppliers, Federal government personnel and 
potentially other customers to confirm production authority by the 
original manufacturer of at-risk items.
     Objective 4--Examine government/industry 
evaluation capabilities and determine whether improvement is needed.
     Objective 5--Develop an anti-counterfeiting 
training and outreach strategy for the Federal workforce.
     Objective 6--Examine whether additional measures 
are needed to protect the rights and interests of the United States, 
recoup costs and prosecute offenders.

[[Page 48906]]

    The purpose of the request for comments and recommendations is to 
solicit feedback and best practices from industry, academia, research 
laboratories, and other stakeholders on issues related to identifying 
areas of common interest and compare progress and best practices to 
ultimately eliminate counterfeits in Federal Government supply chains. 
This request for comments and for recommendations is divided into six 
categories. Responses to this request for comments may be directed to 
any or all of the six categories.

Request for Comments Categories

Category 1: General

    The U.S. Government Inter-Agency Anti-Counterfeiting Working group 
seeks written comment submissions on the following topics:
     Describe functional responsibilities, procedures and 
programs specifically designed to address prevention, identification 
and control of suspect/counterfeit items.
     Describe any procedures for the disposal of items 
identified as suspect/counterfeit items. Do these procedures include 
segregation, evaluation of safety/mission impact, extent of condition, 
removal, destruction or return to the vendor?
     Describe both internal and/or external notification 
procedures used when a suspect/counterfeit item is discovered. Identify 
suspect/counterfeit industry information exchanges to which you report 
counterfeit items.
     Describe any testing and inspection procedures used to 
authenticate a procured item.
     Describe any rules or procedures that can improve the use 
and functionality of the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program 
     Recommend best practices for identifying counterfeit 
products entering the U.S. Government supply chain and for curbing 
their entry into that supply chain.

Category 2: Objective 1--Establish procedures for program 
managers to identify items at risk for counterfeiting or requiring 
authentication of legitimacy. These procedures will, to the greatest 
extent practicable, utilize current industry standards.

     Describe methodologies for determining the functional 
criticality of parts and whether critical parts have unintentional or 
intentional vulnerabilities that may subject them to counterfeiting. 
For critical parts, describe the consequences of counterfeiting and the 
likelihood that counterfeiting will occur.
     As the likelihood of the counterfeiting of critical parts 
increases, describe ways to establish more stringent traceability 
requirements for direct suppliers and their subcontractors to assure 
and support evidence of part authenticity.
     Describe processes for the verification of direct 
suppliers' trustworthiness for consistent delivery of authentic and 
conforming parts that meet specifications.
     Describe procedures for tracking parts and materials 
received from suppliers to the original manufacturer, or other 
acceptable source, to authenticate that they meet the requirements of 
the customer's specifications.
     Describe procedures that you follow to ensure that 
counterfeit parts are not incorporated into products during the 
manufacturing processes, including the means of identifying suspect 
parts during receiving inspection and preventing their acceptance.
     Describe effective international and industry standards 
used in anti-counterfeiting risk management efforts.

Category 3: IPEC Objective 2--Examine Whether Regulations Are 
Needed To Require Suppliers To Take Stronger Anti-Counterfeiting 

     Describe contractual requirements used by customers to 
assure the authenticity of the products upon delivery. Describe the 
provisions of these requirements, if any. Describe any process or 
procedures used to flow authenticity requirements down to suppliers. 
Describe any conflicts between requirements from different customers.
     Are contract clauses that notify suppliers that they are 
prohibited from providing suspect/counterfeit items effective?
     Describe any special quality assurance provisions that may 
be contained in anti-counterfeiting contract clauses that require 
parties to confirm compliance.
     Describe effective methods for addressing counterfeit 
prevention during the source selection process.
     Describe any risk factors used in determining risk for 
counterfeit items/commodity groups.
     Describe procedures for processing potentially counterfeit 
items. Describe any requirements imposed on suppliers when potential 
counterfeit items are identified.

Category 4: IPEC Objective 3--Examine When and How Product and 
Package Traceability, Reporting and Marking Processes Can Be Used by 
Prime Contractors, Their Suppliers, Federal Government Personnel and 
Potentially Other Customers To Confirm Production Authority by the 
Original Manufacturer of At-Risk Items

     Describe procedures that require the labeling, stamping or 
marking of authentic parts and/or part packaging prior to purchasing 
parts and material for installation in products.
     Describe the use of part markings to address the 
    (1) Identification of distributors and/or suppliers who have a 
documentation system, and receiving inspection system that ensures the 
traceability of their parts to a production or design authority-
approved source, and
    (2) Methods of screening part markings to identify unfamiliar 
distributors and/or suppliers to determine if the parts present a 
potential risk of being unapproved by a production or design authority.
     Describe procedures for establishing product and packaging 
identification and authenticity documentation requirements for at-risk 
items and applying these requirements to suppliers to ensure 
traceability of product authenticity throughout the supply chain.
     Describe how the use of enhanced product/package 
identification marking methods (such as marking products/packages with 
globally unique item identifiers (UIIs) using international standards, 
and then registering these UIIs and their product/package pedigree 
information in a database to enable tracking them back to their 
originating source as they transit the supply chain) might help reduce 
or eliminate counterfeits in the supply chain. Does the use of these 
identification marking methods impose a substantial burden on 
manufacturers/suppliers? Identify the types of incentives that would 
encourage manufacturers/suppliers to consistently use identification 
     Describe how the use of advanced technology for ensuring 
the integrity of products delivered in the supply chain (including such 
techniques as digital signatures, hologram tags, tamper-resistant and 
tamper-evident packaging) might help reduce or eliminate counterfeits 
in the supply chain.
     Describe any techniques that may be employed when product 
authentication cannot be confirmed by use of product and packaging 
identification and authenticity documentation requirements.

[[Page 48907]]

Category 5: IPEC Objective 4--Examine Government/Industry 
Evaluation Capabilities and Determine Whether Improvement Is Needed.

     List physical inspection, non-destructive examination, and 
laboratory testing equipment that your organization owns and operates 
and that is capable of authenticating a suspected counterfeit part.
     Describe specific products that can be inspected/tested 
using this equipment and how the inspection/testing technique(s) can be 
used to distinguish counterfeit product from authentic product.
     List any laboratory/testing certifications or 
accreditations that your facility(ies) maintains.
     List any governmental or industry customers that employ 
your testing facilities.
     Describe handling and storage techniques that your 
facility employs to prevent comingling, tampering and unauthorized 
release of suspect counterfeit items.
     How much capacity would your facility be able to manage--
how many parts per day can you handle? Can your test facility handle 
classified information?

Category 6: IPEC Objective 5--Establish an Anti-Counterfeiting 
Training and Outreach Strategy for the Federal Workforce

     Does your organization provide anti-counterfeit training 
for employees? Identify the type of training that is available. List 
the types of employees who receive anti-counterfeit training (e.g., 
Buyers, Inspectors, Engineers, Project Managers).
    [cir] Did you model your training after another industry standard 
or company, or outsource the training? If so, please describe.
    [cir] How frequently do you provide anti-counterfeiting training to 
your employees?
    [cir] How do you educate/train your new hires?
    [cir] What is the venue and medium for this training? (e.g., 
Classroom, Web-based, Reading materials)
    [cir] How long are the training sessions?
     How do you track and benchmark the effectiveness of your 
training in anti-counterfeiting?
     What training resources do you provide to suppliers or 
customers on anti-counterfeit tactics and strategies for your industry 
or products?
     Do you formally test recipients on the contents of the 
training and/or provide formal qualifications/certifications upon 
completion of the training?
     Describe the scope and contents of your anti-
counterfeiting training.
    Request for Information Response Guidelines: Responses to this 
Request for Comments must be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov docket number OMB-2011-0003.
    To submit comments via http://www.regulations.gov, enter docket 
number OMB-2011-0003 on the home page and click ``search''. The site 
will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated 
with this docket. Find a reference to this notice by selecting 
``Notice'' under ``Document Type'' on the left side of the search-
results page, and click on the link entitled ``Submit a Comment.'' (For 
further information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, 
please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on 
``How to Use This Site'' on the left side of the home page.)
    The http://www.regulations.gov site provides the option of 
providing comments by filling in a ``Type Comment and Upload File'' 
field, or by attaching a document. It is expected that most comments 
will be provided in an attached document. If a document is attached, it 
is sufficient to type ``See attached'' in the ``Type Comment and Upload 
File'' field. If you want to submit confidential business information 
that supports your comments, please contact Michael Lewis at 
[email protected].

Victoria Espinel,
United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.
[FR Doc. 2011-20204 Filed 8-8-11; 8:45 am]