Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronics Parts: An Expert’s Perspective On Demand

This course will cover laws and regulations that require defense contractors and their suppliers to detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts. We will review DFARS regulations that require “covered” contractors to have systems to detect and avoid counterfeit electronics parts and how requirements flow down to lower tiers of the supply chain. The course will update attendees on recent and pending regulatory changes and in new developments in how the Government is applying these regulations. Attention will be paid to established and emerging industry standards and best practices and the role that these should have in a compliant program to detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts. The DFARS sets 12 criteria for systems to detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts. Each of these will be reviewed to make sure that attendees understand the objectives and are prepared to deal with questions that can arise. The course will discuss how best to configure company policies and procedures to satisfy DCMA business assessment of systems to detect and avoid counterfeit parts. Special attention will be given to practical implementation problems and to lessons learned through experience with the DFARS.

The lead presenter will be Robert Metzger, a shareholder of Rogers Joseph O’Donnell, PC, and head of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Bob is a nationally recognized expert in cyber and supply chain security, who recently was honored by Federal Computer Week as a 2016 “Federal 100” awardee for exceptional contributions to federal information technology. Bob has written numerous articles on counterfeit parts and related supply chain risk management subjects, and is frequently consulted by leading companies and senior government officials in this subject area.

Among the learning objectives are answers to the following issues:

  • Measures that primes can take to assure themselves that their suppliers act responsibly to address the flowdown of the DFARS requirements;
  • How lower tier companies can respond to flow down demands;
  • What to seek and what to expect in contract terms and conditions that deal with supply chain risk;
  • Issues and problems that arise when these rules are applied to smaller businesses and sources of commercial items;
  • Dealing with accumulated inventory and deciding whether it can be used for current requirements;
  • How to optimize purchasing to focus on “trusted suppliers” and how to qualify and use distributors when parts are unavailable from trusted suppliers;
  • Diligence measures to reinforce confidence in use of trusted suppliers as well as distributors;
  • How to satisfy DoD expectations of “traceability” of purchased parts;
  • Reducing risk of future exposure to counterfeits by anticipating parts obsolescence and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages;
  • When to consider contract manufacture or other customer-enabled design/build alternatives where trusted supply is unavailable for mission-critical parts;
  • Use of “business due diligence” methods or third party services to monitor and assess supplier risk;
  • Appropriate selection of assurance measures to verify counterfeit parts avoidance of suppliers;
  • When and how to perform risk-based assessment when parts cannot be acquired from trusted suppliers;
  • Selection of test methods and appropriate use of third party laboratories in high-risk situations;
  • Optimization of policies and procedures to minimize counterfeit risk and satisfy Government or higher tier contractor oversight;
  • How to identify “suspect” or “confirmed” counterfeit electronic parts and when, how and to whom to report such parts; and
  • Responding to counterfeit “events” with proper disclosures, remedial actions and appropriate cost-accounting.


Robert S. Metzger

Robert S. Metzger is the head of the Washington, D.C. office of Rogers Joseph O’Donnell, P.C. He advises leading companies on key public contract compliance challenges and in strategic business pursuits, including international aerospace and defense transactions. His practice includes representation of companies before administrative agencies as well as civil matters in federal and state courts. Bob’s clients include prominent U.S. and international firms in aerospace, computer equipment, defense, electronics, enterprise computing, information technology, infrastructure, professional services, software, systems implementation and telecommunications. Bob received his B.A. from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of California and the District of Columbia. He holds leadership positions in the American Bar Association, both in the Section on Public Contract Law and the Section of International Law. Bob is ranked by Chambers USA as a top government contracts lawyer. He has been ranked by The Legal 500 as a top telecommunications lawyer. Bob is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London. He was a Research Fellow, Center for Science & International Affairs (CSIA) (now Belfer Center), Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Academic publications on international security topics include articles in International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies and Indian Defence Review. Bob is recognized as among the nation’s leading experts in emerging issues related to supply chain risk management, avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts and cyber threats posed through the supply chain. He is the Vice-Chair of the Software and Supply Chain Assurance Working Group of the IT Alliance for Sector (ITAPs), a unit of the Information Technology Industry Council. On these subjects, he has made presentations to government, industry, legal and technical groups, among them AIA, ASIS, CALCE, DoD, DIB SCC, DoJ, ERAI, IPC, NCMA, NDIA, SAE and SMTA.

Continuing Education Credits


2 credits


.2 credits

CPE (Business Law)

2 credits


2 credits. This course has been approved for CLE in CA, PA, VA and TX. Because this activity has been approved in another CLE jurisdiction, you may also receive credit for participation in AK, AZ, AR, CO, FL, HI, IL, ME, MT, NJ, NY, ND, and WI (additional state requirements may apply). If you are seeking CLE credits for a jurisdiction other than the ones listed above, please contact us for additional information.


This course can be submitted to Project Management Institute (PMI) for PDU. Upon their approval, it may be worth 2 PDU credits.

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