ITAA: Certification proposal nearly impossible

A government anti-counterfeiting proposal that would require federal contractors to certify the authenticity of their products would create major liabilities for contractors, the Information Technology Association of American has said.

“We believe the language clearly creates an unlimited liability for entities who certify that an item is authentic, if the item is subsequently found not to be authentic,” Trey Hodgkins, vice president of federal government programs for the ITAA, said Jan 22.

Such liabilities could easily cost contractors millions and impose a huge and unreasonable burden on them to guarantee authenticity throughout a supply chain of dozens or even thousands of suppliers, Hodgkins added. Certifying authenticity for large contractors and systems integrators would be extremely difficult or impossible, he added.

Small businesses would also be at risk, he said. “For small businesses, they will not be able to assume that type of liability,” Hodgkins said. “They will have to look at modifying their business or getting out.”

The ITAA is urging government to withdraw the proposal, Hodgkins wrote in a Jan. 20 letter to the General Services Administration. Federal agencies would be better served fighting counterfeiting by using existing legal channels and regulations applicable to contractors, he wrote.

The acquisition councils that deal with federal acquisition issues put forth the Federal Acquisition Regulation anti-counterfeiting proposal as Case 2008-019, published on Nov. 18, 2008.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Mon, Jan 26, 2009 Marc The Live Free or Die State (look it up)

Hey Trey and America - Those who really care about America rather than themselves, believe to NOT enforce the new language clearly creates an unlimited liability for America. We MUST certify that an item is authentic. The taxpayer has had it with corporate greed, insurance companies, and attorneys bankrupting the American taxpayer as a result of such lobbying you partake in to encourage incompetence, zero accountability, and a license to commit fraud. As you say, "they (businesses) will have to look at modifying their business." What a pity, do you really think that is asking too much Trey? Clearly, you like most, can only focus on short term immediate gratification and egregious corporate profits and egregious government spending and taxation. We clearly prefer "avoidance" of the fraud rather than "mitigation" (litigation) after the crime is committed. Otherwise we continue supporting illegal alien workers, globalization, and unfair trade, for a short time, until total collapse, due to continued business as usual incompetence and taxation without representation. Do you get the point, does America get the point? Comments anyone?

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