Senate NDAA Bill Eyes Terminating DoD CMO Position

Pentagon Military Defense DoD

In its markup of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate Armed Services Committee is looking to terminate the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Chief Management Office (CMO) position.

The DoD CMO, which was created as part of the 2017 NDAA, is tasked with “[delivering] optimized enterprise business operations to assure the success of the National Defense Strategy,” according to the DoD. Legislators are now questioning whether the CMO position has actually led to cost savings, or improved quality or productivity of DoD’s business operations.

If the measure ends up as part of the final legislation approved by the House and Senate and signed by the President, DoD would have until Sept. 30, 2022 to terminate the position. Under the bill, the DoD Secretary would be required to submit a report to Congress no later than 45 days prior to the date the CMO position is terminated. The report would have to include:

  • “The position and title of each officer or employee of the DoD in whom the Secretary would vest responsibility for performing the various duties of the CMO on the disestablishment of that position;
  • Any duties of the CMO that the Secretary would recommend be discontinued or modified;
  • A description of the process and timeline for transferring the responsibilities and resources of the CMO to the appropriate persons and organizations;
  • The Secretary’s recommendations for additional authorities and resources that may be required to ensure effective exercise by the appropriate officers or employees of the responsibilities to be transferred to them from the CMO.”

The current CMO Lisa Hershman was appointed to the role on December 19, 2019, and succeeded John H. Gibson II who held the role since its inception until he stepped down on Nov. 30, 2018.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.

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