The DoD’s “Big Data for Government Property” Vision – 10 years in the Making and Going Strong
2014 marks the 10 year anniversary for the Department of Defense’s Item Unique Identification (IUID) policy. It has been a visionary undertaking by the DoD in its effort to standardize the collection of government property data, and eventually leverage “Big Data” to better manage government property.
The IUID policy (Item Unique Identification) is called out in DoD Instruction 8320.04, “Item Unique Identification (IUID) Standards for Tangible Personal Property” and referenced in other DoD policies as well as in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFARS) 252.211-7007. It specifies what, when, and how to mark or label a piece of government property with a “Unique Item Identifier (UII)”. The UII stays with that property throughout its lifecycle. The purpose is to collect all the information about the asset, such as cost, contract and project history.
I recently had the pleasure to meet with Gregory Redick, a former Air Force Lt. Colonel, who was responsible for developing the IUID policy while working for Mike Wynne, the then Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology & Logistics at the DoD.
“Our vision was to lay the foundation upon which all improvements could be made in the management of tangible things. Starting at uniquely identifying all the stuff in the DoD inventory allows for the use of standardized data to gather analytics and intelligence, to help us be more efficient in future acquisitions, maintenance efforts, as well as logistics and operational planning,” said Greg Redick.
While drafting that policy, Greg worked successfully with major government contractors, industry suppliers, and different departments within the DoD. As a result, the DoD was able to quickly release the policy platform and start down the road of collecting the “Big Data for Government Property”.
Since the IUID policy first took effect, the DoD has been making progress, slowly but steadily, to collect “Big Data for Government Property”. Some recent changes indicate that the DoD is accelerating the pace.
- In January of 2014, the DoD removed the $5000 threshold for tagging assets with UII and reporting them to the IUID registry.
- On 11/3/14, the IUID registry will migrate to the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) platform. This will streamline the data submission process for government contractors.
- The DoD maybe on the verge of imposing on contractors mandatory self-certification of business systems, one of which is the Government Property Management system. A draft of the proposed DFARS business systems rule update was sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on April 21, 2014, generally the last step before publication unless OIRA disapproves and sends the rule.