Defense officials will start to form a task force to study the business case for consolidating the military’s three exchange services and the Defense Commissary Agency, after Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan this week approved a memo laying out the next steps for a possible merger of military resale activities. Shanahan said he agrees “a single consolidated organization offers the greatest potential to achieve the economies and efficiencies” that are necessary to ensure commissary and exchange benefits survive, according to the memo.
The task force is scheduled to complete its analysis by Oct. 31, at which point it would begin planning for consolidation, reports Military Times. If the DOD chief management officer approves the business case, the team would complete integration planning by Jan. 31, 2019, and the consolidation would begin under existing authorities. Lawmakers would be afforded input into the decision, however, under an amendment to the House version of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill.
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