Bill would expand management officers' roles

The fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill, S.3001, under consideration by the Senate today would assign chief management officers (CMOs) in each military department to lead the Defense Department's business transformation efforts.

In addition to giving DOD permission to continue major programs and operations, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, S. 3001 would direct DOD’s deputy CMO to become vice chairman of the Defense Business Systems Management Committee, which advises the Defense secretary on policies, procedures and activities for business process improvement. The 2008 authorization bill created the deputy CMO position.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England is chairman of the management committee. Last year, DOD officials appointed him to be the department’s first CMO after initially opposing establishment of the position.

In the past, the Government Accountability Office has recommended in audits and congressional hearings that DOD appoint a full-time CMO to focus on more effective management and business transformation because DOD has so many programs on GAO’s high-risk list. GAO has cited serious problems in DOD’s financial management, contract management and weapons system acquisition, among other activities.

The 2009 defense bill would direct each military agency to implement a business transformation plan, an enterprise business systems architecture and a transition plan under the leadership of its CMO. Each agency would establish an Office of Business Transformation to help the CMO carry out the initiative.

Under the bill, CMOs would report to Congress’ Armed Services and Appropriations committees within six months about the actions they have taken on the business transformation plans. They would report annually thereafter for the next three years.

The House passed its version of the measure, H.R. 5658, in May.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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