The DoD’s Vision for Big Data for Government Property – 10 years in the Making

UID labels

UID labels used by DOD contractors


2014 marks the 10 year anniversary for the Department of Defense’s IUID rule. Outside of the DoD community, the IUID rule is perhaps less known. However, the IUID rule is a visionary undertaking by the DoD in their effort to monetize “Big Data” for better acquisition decisions. DoD is making steady gains in building the “Big Data”, and its leading the industry once again in improving the asset management practices.

The IUID rule (Item Unique Identification) is part of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFARS) 252.211-7007. It specifies what, when, and how to mark a piece of Government Property. That UID stays with the Government Property throughout its lifecycle, so all the information about the asset, cost, maintenance records, contract and project history, are stored in one place — the IUID registry.

Every year, the DoD spent hundreds of billions dollars procuring government property, from armored vehicles, weapons, to computers. The data on the life cycle costs of these assets can be used for making better acquisition decisions. 1% of saving could be equivalent to a few billion dollars. This is the rationale behind the policy and infrastructure that was put in place more than a decade ago.

10 years after the IUID rule was first implemented, the DoD is tightening the rules while in the meantime making the IUID registry easier to use.

  1. In January of 2014, the $5000 threshold for marking UID on Government Property was removed. As a result, more assets and their lifecycle information will be entered in the IUID registry.
  2. The DoD is consolidating some information exchange platforms, such as the Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF), Global Exchange (GEX), and the IUID registry, to streamline the data submission.
  3. Starting in August, government contractors can access a Web service to submit the UID data, instead of exporting a data file. This will save a lot of time for government contractors if they can automate the process via the web service.

I have always been of the opinion that the Federal Government is leading the industry in enforcing asset management best practices. In the case of the IUID rule, the DoD is visionary in building this government property “Big Data”. It may still have a long way to go before the DoD can monetize the “Big Data”, but it has started the journey, ahead of most of the private sector companies.

At E-ISG Asset Intelligence, we provide out of box Government Property Management software eQuip!. We have integrated workflows to support the IUID rules, so eQuip! users can save time and meet the DRARs requirements on IUID.


If you would like to learn more about the key things a contract manager needs to know about managing Government Property, you can download our white paper “Four Thing Contract Managers Need to Know about GFP Requirements”  here.

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