DOD will recognize IT management structure
- By Gregory Slabodkin
- Nov 24, 1997
Under the organizational changes, the office of the assistant secretary of Defense for
command, control, communications and intelligence [ASD(C3I)] will split into separate C3
and intelligence components, while the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and
technology will take over duties from the ASD(C3I) as DOD's chief information officer.
Jacques Gansler was sworn in Nov. 10 as the new undersecretary of Defense for
acquisition and technology. He is the former executive vice president and director of TASC
Inc. of Arlington, Va., an applied information technology company.
The new ASD for intelligence will oversee DOD agencies such as the National Imagery and
Mapping Agency, Defense Investigative Service, National Security Agency, National
Reconnaissance Office and Defense Intelligence Agency.
DOD had yet to appoint a permanent ASD(C3I) since Emmett Paige Jr. retired in May. Joan
Dempsey was appointed acting ASD(C3I) soon after Paige's departure, but she left DOD in
July to take a senior position with the CIA. Anthony Valletta is the second official to
hold the position since Paige's retirement.
According to Defense officials, DOD was waiting to see what impact the Task Force on
Defense Reform would have on the ASD(C3I) office before selecting a political appointee
for the job.
The so-called Defense Reform Initiative is based on the recommendations of the task
force, an independent civilian panel created six months ago by Cohen in the aftermath of
the Quadrennial Defense Review. It's charge was to lay out a plan for improving DOD's
organization and procedures.
To correct inefficiencies and streamline operations, DOD will adopt industry's best
business practices, consolidate redundant organizations, compete more in-house functions
and eliminate excess infrastructure, according to DOD officials.
The seven-member task force, led by Arnold Punaro, senior vice president for corporate
development at Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, took a hard look at
the appropriate role, structure and size of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the
Defense agencies and DOD field activities.
In the end, the panel didn't like what it saw.
Consequently, OSD will reduce its staff by 33 percent over the next 18 months; Defense
agencies will slash staff by 21 percent over the next five years; and DOD field and
related activities will cut staff by 36 percent over the next two years.
Information technology will play a large role in the new and improved DOD.
"We agreed that information technology is changing everything--from the way we buy
supplies and equipment to the way we fight, and that information technology is the key to
America's future strength as a defense leader just as it is the key to America's future as
a business leader," said Vice President Al Gore, who endorsed Cohen's Defense Reform
Initiative as being in line with his National Performance Review objectives.
Among the changes, Defense regulations will not be printed after July 1, when they will
become available only on the Internet or CD-ROM. By Jan. 1, 2000, DOD will institute
paper-free contracting for major weapons systems. And by 2000, 90 percent of DOD buys of
less than $2,500 will be made with IMPAC credit cards.
DOD will also expand the use of electronic catalogs and electronic shopping malls. In
addition, the department is in the process of re-engineering its Defense Travel System by
incorporating business practices that will generate nearly $300 million in annual savings.
Defense also wants to realize cost savings by eliminating excess infrastructure.
Consequently, Cohen has directed the Defense Information Systems Agency to further
consolidate its 16 Defense megacenters into six facilities. And DOD wants to see the
Defense Finance and Accounting Service reduce the number of its field offices from 26 to