Takai nomination for DOD CIO withdrawn

Long-vacant position in flux amid changes in defense personnel structure

California CIO Teresa Takai is no longer the nominee to be the Defense Department's CIO. The White House withdrew the nomination on Sept. 29, according to Senate records.

However, it remains unclear whether Takai could be re-nominated to the DOD CIO post if it moves to the Defense Information Systems Agency under a reorganization effort that Secretary Robert Gates has initiated.

Related stories:

Gates’ DOD plans would shift CIO to DISA

Defense CIO confirmation on ice for now

The news came as DOD officials traveled to Capitol Hill for hearings to investigate Gates’ proposals for trimming DOD's budget by $100 billion over the next five years.

Among Gates’ proposed budgetary measures is closing the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration (NII), which has housed the CIO job required by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. That is the position to which Obama had nominated Takai.

Gates has previously said he plans to shift the role, and other responsibilities, to the Defense Information Systems Agency. In turn, DISA would take on the command and control duties of NII and the ill-fated Joint Forces Command and Joint Staff, said Christine Fox, director of cost assessment and program evaluation at DOD.

According to Gates, the CIO role would be strengthened, and “under its umbrella, responsibility for daily operations will be assigned to DISA. A refashioned DISA will perform the department’s CIO function.”

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the changes to NII and the CIO role are designed to reduce the bureaucracy clogging management of DOD's computer networks and operations.

“Multiple organizations on multiple staffs at multiple layers of our hierarchy exist to oversee IT," Cartwright said. "The result is a complex web of authorities and responsibilities that is unclear and difficult to navigate. Combatant commanders simply do not understand what organization they need to visit to get their work executed.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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Reader Comments

Mon, Oct 4, 2010 Marc Gartenberg DC

Bad move to put DoD CIO under DISA. Primarily it minimizes sponship and leverage of role A few more, but typing on this iPad is a punishment. Feel free to continue discussion - but vis email (n m_gart@Verizon.net.

Fri, Oct 1, 2010 Joe

This article is almost completely wrong. Takai is still the frontrunner for the DoD CIO, but *of course* her nomination for ASD(NII) was withdrawn since Gates is eliminating that position. Eliminating the office of the ASD(NII) is different than eliminating the DoD CIO (a position which is required by the CLinger Cohen act). The DoD CIO has also been the ASD(NII) since 2002, but will be independent in the future, and is not expected to be part of DISA - that's a gross misreading of Gates' words.

Fri, Oct 1, 2010 CJ

Good ideas - but ironically not holding my breath for the bureaucracy to allow implementation any time soon...

Fri, Oct 1, 2010

cleaning up DoD and eliminating all the unnecessary and overpaid jobs is a good thing...keep cutting all the layers of assistant secretaries, and assistants to assistants and deputy this and deputy that... eliminate all the unnecessary overhead and wasteful bureaucracy.

Fri, Oct 1, 2010

Wait -- Takai may still get the CIO job, right? She just won't also be the Asst Secretary for NII, since that's being abolished under the efficiencies initiative. Actually, since Gates is also strengthening the CIO (now-stripped of the ASDNII hat), being the new-and-improved CIO may be a better gig than she was offered before ... albeit without the senate-confirmation show and the nice-sounding title of "Asst Secretary of Defense for [whatever]"

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