What is to prevent a contractor from turning variable data into attribute data?
Example: A drawing calls out an I.D. of 1.000 plus / minus .005 and it's recorded on the inspection record as 'pass'. A measurement had to be made to determine if it was within tolerance, so why not record the actual measurement / result? Do they have to?
Need to make some assumptions that this contract requires a higher level quality clause and that the contractor has imposed an ISO 9000 or AS9100 requirement. The contractor needs to tend to the government products that meet the contract requirement, in this case an item that has an ID of 1.000 plus or minus .005 and they can verify this with either variable or attribute data. The contractor is not required to capture variable data. I assume that they are capturing attribute data and making that available to the government. Unless you have a contract requirement specifying variable data for this characteristic and have it as a deliverable (CDRL), not sure you can or want to force the contractor to do otherwise. If this is a "key characteristic," and you want variable data, then you need to ask for it, and be prepared to pay for it. Please check with your higher headquarters organization to see if they have any additional guidance.
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