DOD creates new agency for biz transformation

The Defense Department has established a new organization to carry out the modernization of its business systems.

The Defense Business Transformation Agency will “advance defensewide business transformation,” said Gordon England, the acting deputy secretary of Defense who oversees the multibillion-dollar initiative, in a memo signed Oct. 7. He said DOD plans to hire a director and an acquisition executive for the new agency.

The new agency will include new program executive offices, program managers and seven support organizations. They include transport, business systems response, enterprise resource planning, financial management, real property, supply chain and personnel and readiness.

The new agency will also manage 18 critical systems, including the Defense Travel System (DTS) and the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System. DTS survived a Senate vote earlier this month for an amendment in the 2006 Defense Appropriations bill that proposed canceling its future funding.

The creation of the Defense Business Transformation Agency marks the fourth major accomplishment this year in the multiyear effort to update and streamline DOD’s more than 4,000 business systems. Last month, the new Defense Business Systems Management Committee approved the Enterprise Transition Plan and the Business Enterprise Architecture Version 3.0. This spring, the department established the new committee and announced an emphasis to support warfighters in combat rather than to achieve clean audits.

Congress and the Government Accountability Office have criticized DOD’s business system modernization in hearings and reports for mismanagement and inefficiency. Lawmakers cut the program’s budget this year and threatened to take legislative steps to withhold promotions for its program managers because of a lack of progress.

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