Defense CIO confirmation on ice for now
Teri Takai's confirmation hearings on hold as the Defense Secretary reviews organizational structure
Confirmation hearings for Defense Chief Information Officer nominee Teri Takai are on hold while Defense Secretary Robert Gates makes good on his promise to slash the defense budget by reviewing the organization’s structure.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, which had expected to begin hearings on Aug. 3, announced Tuesday that Takai had been removed from the schedule pending an internal review.
“In light of the secretary's initiative to reduce overhead and achieve efficiencies, the department is in the process of reviewing the entire organizational structure,” a Senate Armed Services Committee spokesperson said in a statement. “While we are examining any number of options and avenues for the best way forward, we wanted to maintain some flexibility. Therefore, we determined that it was best not to go forward with this confirmation hearing until this internal review was completed.”
The review is part of broader efforts announced by Gates earlier this summer to slash Defense Department spending by $100 billion to help fund the dual wars in the Middle East.
DOD aims to slash budget by $100B to pay for war
Under DOD's current structure, the CIO serves as assistant secretary of defense for Networks and Information Integration. However, last month the Defense Business Board recommended the dissolution of DOD’s NII directorate, as part of a broader downsizing of defense organizations to meet the goal of saving $100 billion.
DOD has been without a CIO since John Grimes left in 2009. Since then, Cheryl Roby has worked as acting assistant secretary of defense for NII, and Dave Wennergren as deputy CIO.
Takai currently serves as CIO for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering defense and national security. Connect with her on Twitter: @AmberInsideDOD.