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Katharina McFarland, director at SAIC, discusses how Secretary Mark Esper’s “night court” can find cuts across the Department of Defense, and why it’s important to remember the roles of the fourth estate.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is looking to save money at the Pentagon by rolling out his “night court” plan across the department. By implementing a similar initiative at the Army, the branch saved $4.1 billion. Katharina McFarland, director at SAIC, says that applying the same logic to the fourth estate requires a bit of finesse.

“We have to understand that the fourth estate was established as a synergy. Most all of the entities, agencies, different fourth estate elements… were constructed out of the services to create a more efficient way of doing the business they do,” McFarland said. “For example, the Defense Contracting Management Agency was created because all of the services did oversight of industrial activities, administration of contracts. There were a whole bunch of them and they were stumbling over each other. We have to make sure as we are doing this night court that we are retaining the principles of what these agencies were stood up for, but of course remove the additional waste or bureaucracy that may have evolved over time.”

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