Lawmaker seeks hearing over proposed Joint Forces Command closing

Congressional pressure continues to build over Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFC), headquartered in Norfolk, Va., which employs about 6,000.

In a letter dated Aug. 13 to the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) called for a full committee hearing on the Defense Department's new efficiency program, including the proposed closing of the JFC. Gates last week announced a series of cost-saving measures that included moves to reduce spending on bureaucracy and administration.

Webb called the abrupt pace of the JFC closing “deeply troubling” and asked for a hearing to look into the “broad scope, legal implications, and potentially far-reaching impacts,” of the cost-saving measures. Webb is a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).


Related stories:

Gates' budget-cutting plan leaves Defense CIO role in limbo

Gates details plans to slash DOD budget


“Beyond its potential impact on joint war-fighting and interoperability, we question the legal basis for the secretary’s action and the analytical rigor reflected in the Defense Business Board’s recommendation,” Webb’s letter said. “DOD has not responded to a request to provide our offices with the legal opinion its general counsel made to support the secretary’s recommendation.”

Webb also was one of six Virginia lawmakers who sent Gates a letter last week that questioned the viability of closing the command amid the military’s increased emphasis on joint operations, and challenged the secretary’s legal authority to shut down an entire command on short notice.

The Senate is in recess until Sept. 13.

 

Featured

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

  • FCW Illustration.  Original Images: Shutterstock, Airbnb

    Should federal contracting be more like Airbnb?

    Steve Kelman believes a lighter touch and a bit more trust could transform today's compliance culture.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.