The Pentagon (Photo by Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock)


DOD outlines breakup of chief management office

The Defense Department has begun shifting the chief management officer position and duties that Congress repealed in the 2021 defense authorization bill to several entities across DOD, including the CIO.

Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist pushed out in two memos dated Jan. 11 re-establishing two organizations to bear some CMO responsibilities, and realigning others across the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

One memo resurrected two positions: the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight office, which will take on the CMO's Division of Intelligence Oversight function, funding and responsibilities, and the Director of Administration and Management, which will take over the CMO's Directorate for Oversight and Compliance and the Directorate for Administration and Organizational Policy. The latter will also take control of the Washington Headquarters Service and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Norquist wrote that the CMO's elimination "presents a unique opportunity to build and improve long-standing DOD management responsibilities and processes," such as consolidating the Chief Data Officer organization and functions with the CIO per the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which calls for the CIO to take back responsibilities for DOD's business systems. The CDO already reported to the CIO.

"This will allow acceleration of enterprise-wide data management in support of warfighting and business operations," the deputy defense secretary wrote.

Immediate changes, according to the memos, include having DOD's comptroller or chief financial officer create an organization "responsible for business process performance and improvement." That office will have oversight of implementing data analytics and the ADVANA audit tool, and with the help of the CIO, business IT systems requirements, among other duties, the memo states.

The memo also calls for disbanding the Reform Management Group, which was launched in 2017 to spot reform opportunities across nine business areas. All of the group's "ongoing actions" have been transferred to the Defense Business Council with the CIO and defense comptroller as co-chairs.

The Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE) has until Jan. 15 to come up with a plan "for each duty and responsibility that were previously assigned to the Office of the CMO to be reassigned" to another DOD official, according to the memo. The office, with Washington Headquarters Services' support, will also have to identify any issuances, guidance, or charters that need to be changed to support the new direction.

DCAPE is also now charged with creating "a single program and budget data system" for program and budget reviews and submission.

This article first appeared on FCW. 

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.

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