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Newly Issued GAO Report on Supply Chain Resilience

Newly Issued GAO Report on Supply Chain Resilience

Newly Issued GAO Report on Supply Chain Resilience
Bill Kobren

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) yesterday issued a new report of interest to our functional area entitled “GAO-23-105534 Supply Chain Resilience: Agencies Are Taking Steps to Expand Diplomatic Engagement and Coordinate with International Partners”.

According to the GAO, “the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have disrupted global supply chains, which has resulted in numerous shortages—including for semiconductors used in automobile production. Federal agencies are working to strengthen global supply chains through diplomatic efforts. For instance, agencies have helped coordinate a U.S.-Mexico working group to collaborate on semiconductor and IT supply chains. However, companies may be reluctant to share data on their supply chains due to things like business confidentiality concerns. This limits agencies' ability to identify and address vulnerabilities in supply chains.”

Additionally, the GAO goes on to state, “according to agency officials, the primary challenges they face include (1) barriers to data collection, (2) limited flexibility in established trade agreements and programs, and (3) pandemic-related delays or virtual alternatives to meetings, which have hampered effective diplomacy. To address data collection challenges, agency officials said they have developed multiple data collection and analysis initiatives. These initiatives include mapping exercises in which participating stakeholders from the U.S. and partner nations share information about how goods flow through the production process. Also, in May 2022, agencies announced a pilot with European counterparts for a joint early alert system to more effectively share data on potential bottlenecks in the semiconductor supply chain. In addition, to address challenges and further improve coordination, agencies requested additional staffing resources to enhance diplomacy efforts related to supply chain resilience.”