Defense wants ID tags on all supplies now

Defense Department contractors must now mark items delivered to DOD with unique identifiers such as bar codes or radio-frequency identification tags. Contractors must also specify the unit cost of all hardware items delivered under a contract.

An interim procurement rule applies to all DOD solicitations issued on or after Jan. 1.

The rule requires unique identification of all single hardware articles or units formed by a grouping of parts if they cost $5,000 or more. The contractor must provide the ID mark and the acquisition cost at the time of delivery.

Software, manuals and other forms of information do not need unique identifiers, according to the interim rule.

The identifiers must have machine-readable data elements such as bar codes, contact memory buttons, radio-frequency ID tags or optical memory cards, the rule said.

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