Defense Logistics: More Efficient Use of Active RFID Tags Could Potentially Avoid Millions in Unnecessary Purchases

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For many years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been attempting to improve visibility over its inventory and equipment. The lack of visibility over inventory and equipment shipments increases vulnerability to undetected loss or theft and substantially heightens the risk that millions of dollars will be spent unnecessarily. Additionally, needed supplies may not reach the warfighter when needed, which may impair readiness. In order to improve visibility, DOD began using a technology to enable it to track shipments. This technology is known as radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 8, 2006.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For many years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been attempting to improve visibility over its inventory and equipment. The lack of visibility over inventory and equipment shipments increases vulnerability to undetected loss or theft and substantially heightens the risk that millions of dollars will be spent unnecessarily. Additionally, needed supplies may not reach the warfighter when needed, which may impair readiness. In order to improve visibility, DOD began using a technology to enable it to track shipments. This technology is known as radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID technology consists of active or passive electronic tags that are attached to equipment and supplies that are shipped from one location to another. This technology is part of a family of automatic information technologies used to enable hands-off identification of cargo and inventory. This report focuses on active RFID tags, which cost around $100 each and are reusable. DOD has been using active RFID technology since the early 1990s to help with in-transit visibility of shipments, and, as of January 2005, it officially began to implement the use of passive RFID. During the course of our work on the use and implementation of passive RFID technology in DOD, we observed that active RFID tags were not being routinely returned for reuse. This report discusses DOD's efficiency in managing the reuse of active RFID tags, specifically the effectiveness of DOD's RFID policy and the extent of tag reuse and monitoring. DOD's final RFID policy was issued by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), the defense logistics executive for RFID implementation, on July 30, 2004."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 8, 2006

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Logistics: More Efficient Use of Active RFID Tags Could Potentially Avoid Millions in Unnecessary Purchases, text, March 8, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300692/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.