Initiative to Reform Overhead Spending Aims at Wrong Target, Analyst Says

Initiative to Reform Overhead Spending Aims at Wrong Target, Analyst Says

The proposal by House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to trim spending on the Pentagon’s fourth estate by 25 percent is unlikely to generate the promised savings as most of the department’s management functions reside within the military services, The services would love to divide up some of these larger functions among themselves, rolling back consolidation, regaining funds they once controlled — and recreating the management inefficiencies that led to centralization in the first place,” Adams states.

The Defense Business Board previously found that 70 percent of overhead spending occurs within the services, not in the cross-defense activities which Thornberry’s proposal targets. Significant savings could be achieved, Adams argues, by carefully scrutinizing overhead budgets. “It is not clear Thornberry and his colleagues want to take on that real management challenge,” he concludes.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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