DOD restructures oversight of department-wide IT

The Defense Department is sharpening its approach to department-wide IT by re-establishing its CIO executive board as a single “action-oriented forum to address enterprise-wide matters and solutions” ranging from combat support to business systems, according to a new memo.

“The goal of the board is to provide unified direction and leadership to effectively and efficiently manage and operate the [DOD] information enterprise,” a memo dated Feb. 12 but released Feb. 17 noted. The memo, effective immediately, was issued by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Carter underscored the board’s responsibility to provide active leadership in developing and implementing policies that ensure progress and compliance, specifically targeting the areas of information and resource management, technology, cybersecurity and information assurance.

The move is in keeping with recent recommendations from the independent Defense Business Board to strengthen the DOD CIO role and make it “a strategic partner, not a back-office support provider.”

The reinforced executive board is also in line with broader Pentagon strategy outlined in last year’s IT Enterprise Strategy and Roadmap, a department-wide plan seeking to save DOD up to $5.2 billion by streamlining IT services.

Beyond duties in managing IT policy and governance, the memo calls on the CIO board to oversee acquisition, support DOD IT workforce development and promote the latest and greatest in cutting-edge technology.

“The board’s governance functions are integral to the strategic and operational effectiveness…and essential to the department’s integration of mission and mission-support perspectives,” Carter stated in the memo.

The DOD CIO executive board is set to comprise the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics; under secretary of defense for policy; DOD comptroller; under secretary of defense for intelligence; under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness; DOD deputy chief management officer; U.S. Cyber Command commander; director for cost assessment and program evaluation; CIOs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Strategic Command and the Joint Staff; the deputy CIOs of the Navy and Marine Corps; and the assistant director of national intelligence and intelligence community CIO.

Board advisers will include the directors of the National Security Agency and Defense Information Systems Agency and the CIO of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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