OSD names new CIO, keeps C3I office intact

Eager to fill key positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon this month backed off a controversial plan to separate its oversight of intelligence operations from its command, control, communications and intelligence office.

The Defense Reform Initiative, released by Secretary William Cohen late last year, had proposed disbanding the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I, moving the C3 functions under the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology and creating a new OASD for intelligence. The change would require congressional approval because the ASD/C3I office had been established by law.

However, the Pentagon last week confirmed that the White House had nominated Air Force chief information officer Art Money as the new ASD/C3I, and the department said it would not seek to break up the office.

According to a Pentagon spokeswoman, OSD officials "have realized the long lead time it would take to get the changes into law," which would make it difficult for Cohen to fill out his management team.

Some people on Capitol Hill and in the Defense community were concerned that separating C3 and intelligence functions would undermine DOD's management of its information technology resources.

Now that the Pentagon has decided to leave the office intact, acting ASD/C3I Anthony Valletta said, "You are going to see a completely revitalized organization with more concentration in such areas as information assurance, CIO performance, spectrum management and integration and interoperability."

"I believe you could make a case either way," said Duane Andrews, a former ASD/C3I from the Bush administration who is now a senior vice president at Science Applications International Corp.

Andrews is leading a team that, following the Defense Reform Initiative, is developing a blueprint for the OSD organization for Cohen and John Hamre, the deputy secretary of Defense.

"Keeping [the C3 and intelligence functions] together, you get much better integration," Andrews said. "You can do the same job with fewer people, you have a more integrated focus [and] you are more closely identified with the operations community," he said. Separating the functions would mean "you can put more emphasis on the individual pieces," which seemed to suit the management style of Cohen's team, Andrews said.

However, once the team began looking at the details— including getting approval from Congress and finding not one but two people to fill management functions— OSD decided "the best thing was to keep them together," Andrews said.

But the Pentagon has not decided whether to keep the CIO function within the ASD/C3I office, the spokeswoman said. The Defense Reform Initiative also had recommended transferring that function to the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, now held by Jacques Gansler.

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