Defense readies RFID policy

Defense Department officials plan to issue a policy next month for use of radio frequency identification devices (RFID).

The directive will guide agencies and contractors that are preparing for January's deadline requiring materiel suppliers to be ready for RFID technology. The policy will also explain standards for RFID tags, which lets people track supplies using the spectrum and networks when the tags are placed on cargo containers, said Jack Pellicci, Oracle Corp.'s group vice president of business development in the company's Government, Education, Health and Aerospace/Defense division.

RFID technology provides operational and cost benefits for government and industry because it tells personnel the location and status of materiel. "RFID creates a real-time enterprise," said Pellicci, who led a panel of speakers on sensor-based computing today at the E-gov 2004 Government Solutions Forum.

Officials at DOD and the General Services Administration must work together to develop standards for RFID tags because of their growing use in government, said Pellicci, a retired Army general. DOD and civilian agencies will meet this summer to achieve a consistent plan regarding the use of RFID technology, according to Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense for supply chain integration.

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