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GAO: DoD Should Address Data, Workforce Issues to Better Assess Industrial Base Risks

The Government Accountability Office has called on the Defense Department to leverage existing supplier information from program offices in order to meet the requirement for a repository of supplier data needed to assess potential risks to the defense industrial base.

GAO said in a report published Wednesday that DoD should ensure a workforce mix of contractors and government personnel with the required skills and capabilities in order to facilitate access to business-sensitive information necessary to develop the data repository for risk analysis.

The agency made the recommendation after it found that the Pentagon’s manufacturing and industrial base policy office relies on contractors who have limited access to such sensitive data.

The report cited obsolete items, disaster-damaged facilities, loss of equipment or skills, limited production capacity, financial viability of suppliers and foreign dependence as some of the risks to the industrial base.

The congressional watchdog reviewed 33 completed investment projects between fiscal years 2014 and 2017 and found that MIBP’s investment programs chose those projects to help maintain current suppliers; build up efficient production processes; and create new domestic sources of supply.

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