John Gibson II, the Pentagon’s first-ever chief management officer (CMO), said that “at the high level” the Defense Department supports House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry’s plan to streamline its support agencies by cutting duplicative activities and reorganizing others, according to a recent interview. “In the spirit of where the chairman’s going, I’d say we’re totally aligned,” Gibson told Defense News.
Thornberry’s proposal, which is part of the defense authorization bill passed by the House Thursday, calls for the CMO to reduce or eliminate duplicative cross-enterprise functions across all defense agencies and field activities related to civilian resource, services contracting, logistics and real estate management. The legislation also directs the CMO to certify that the department has achieved at least 25 percent savings from those functions by Jan. 1, 2021. A separate section of H.R. 5515 calls for the CMO to report to Congress on any recommendations to eliminate an agency or activity, or transfer some or all of its functions to another entity, following a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of defense agencies and field activities.
The initiative’s target is “aggressive” and it is not clear how much savings can be generated, Gibson said, but noted there’s a “significant opportunity” for reform. “You’re going to get the most value and the most synergies from true enterprise-wide reform. Let’s look horizontally and make sure we’re not duplicating efforts where we could consolidate those and make a center of excellence and leverage it across the enterprise,” he said.
Don’t miss Gibson’s keynote address next month at the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit! He will deliver his remarks on June 19 during the Defense Communities Awards Lunch.