DOD slow-walking reorg, watchdog says

benchmarks (Bakhtiar Zein/ 

The Defense Department needs a better plan for how it's going to handle its business IT systems, according to a Government Accountability Office report released March 14.

The DOD's chief management officer was supposed to assume responsibility over and management of the department's business systems from the CIO by Jan. 1, according to the 2018 national defense spending bill. But the department doesn't have a good sense of what those responsibilities would be and how to transfer them, the report stated.

DOD admitted there isn't clear guidance on the matter, and no formal action was taken to shift these duties as of July 2018 due to concerns "that having department-level CIO responsibilities performed by multiple officials could make the integration of various information and technology management areas, as envisioned by law, more difficult to achieve," according to the GAO report.

GAO recommended DOD conduct an analysis to determine which duties would be shifted from the CIO to the CMO and report those findings plus any residual effects to Congress. Other recommendations included determining how the CMO will direct business-related activities for military departments, defense agencies and field activities and codifying the CMO's role, responsibilities and authorities.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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