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DOD wary of code written overseas

GCN senior writer
John Rendleman

GCN

The Defense Department is increasingly concerned that software it procures from contractors is in some cases being written overseas and may include unexpected or harmful lines of code, according to the Pentagon's chief information officer.

'It's a big issue right now,' and is a growing concern in light of the DOD's increasing reliance on contractors, and the contractors' increasing use of overseas vendors for programming jobs, said Defense CIO John Grimes, speaking April 18 at an event sponsored by the northern Virginia chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

The Government Accountability Office reported that DOD's reliance on contractor services increased 78 percent in the last decade, with its obligations on services contracts rising from $85.1 billion in fiscal 1996 to more than $151 billion in fiscal 2006.

'It gives us some concern about what may not be wanted in that piece of software,' especially since outsourcing and globalization make it increasingly difficult for the DOD to keep track of the origins of the different fragments of code that end up in the programs it buys, Grimes said.

Posted by John Rendleman on Apr 21, 2008 at 9:39 AM


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