Commanders seek funding control

In an effort to put the money where the priorities are, the Defense Department is considering a plan that would give joint force commanders control over the allocation of joint information technology budgets, a senior DOD official said.

The Joint Staff will present a recommendation to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld later this year that would make joint combatant commanders — rather than the individual services -- responsible for setting priorities, said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg Jr., director of command, control, communications and computer systems for the Joint Staff.

The idea is that the change in funding perspective will increase joint warfighting ability, a cornerstone of DOD's transformation efforts.

Joint force commanders often have been frustrated that they have not been given priority from the individual military services, which traditionally have made funding decisions. The new concept could call for joint commanders to make the funding decisions for joint command and control functions.

"It's top-driven instead of bottom-driven," Kellogg said during a speech this week at the Military Communications conference in Anaheim, Calif. "We've turned everything on its head."

The recommendations are part of a larger study required by Defense Planning Guidance. The overall review will be presented to Rumsfeld by the end of the year, Kellogg said, but the IT provisions of the review are essentially completed.

Information has become a critical part of the way the military wages war, he said. "The role of info will be the new silver bullet of the future, one that will change how we deploy our forces" by creating a unified, seamless, integrated fighting force, he said.

The change will be significant, he acknowledged, and will require that the services give up some of their sovereignty.

But, he said, this is part of the way DOD is thinking differently about the way that it wages war.

RELATEDLINKS

MilCom

"New DOD command faces culture snag" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 7, 2002]

"Assessing the challenge" [Federal Computer Week, Sept. 23, 2002]

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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