Pentagon gets new BMMP boss

The acting undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics now leads the Pentagon's Business Management Modernization Program.

Defense Department officials reorganized the maligned Business Management Modernization Program (BMMP) late last month by putting it under control of DOD's top acquisition official.

A March 28 memo from Pentagon officials states that Michael Wynne, the acting undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, now leads the management modernization program. Tina Jonas, undersecretary of defense, comptroller and chief financial officer, previously managed the multiyear, multibillion-dollar program aimed at improving DOD's core management systems, including those that handle financial, travel and inventory management.

The reorganization shows military officials have a new emphasis on administering BMMP as an initiative to support warfighters in combat instead of one to achieve clean financial audits, said Elizabeth McGrath, deputy director of the modernization program. She spoke April 6 during a luncheon briefing of the Washington, D.C., chapter of AFCEA International.

The reorganization culminated a busy month for BMMP. DOD officials sent a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee March 15 highlighting the achievements of the program and conveying the goals for it this year.

BMMP officials will complete a program transition plan this spring and a new architecture this fall. They also want to create a program executive office, McGrath said.

During a hearing in July, lawmakers discussed ways to fix BMMP, suggesting that DOD officials take tough actions such as demoting employees or freezing pay raises as part of an effort to get the three-year program on track. A Government Accountability Office report, issued in conjunction with the hearing, criticized DOD officials’ wasteful spending and poor oversight of their business systems.

BMMP officials expect GAO to issue another report soon, McGrath said. "I'm hopeful for a neutral report someday," she said.

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