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David Berteau, President & CEO of the Professional Services Council and Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, detail how the Pentagon's chief management officer role may go away, and what led to this development.

Congress is considering legislation to eliminate the role of the Chief Management Officer at the Pentagon, just three years after creating the position. Lawmakers argue that the role isn’t doing enough to improve management at the Department of Defense. David Berteau, President & CEO of the Professional Services Council, says that the management office may have introduced unnecessary complexities.

Nobody disputes the fact that somewhere within the Defense Department  there are efficiencies to be gained from better management. 738 billion dollars, there’s room for efficiencies in there. The question is what results are you actually looking for, how are you going to define and measure those results, whether it’s through internal folks or using contractors to do the work? How are you going to perform so you achieve that?” Berteau said.

“That is independent of the organization structure, to the extent that the structure distracts you from ‘What do I need? How do I get it?’ It is a negative instead of a positive.”

Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, says that the expectations were raised too high for the office.

 

“They were put in the unfortunate position where they were expected to reform IT management, financial management, acquisition management, logistics management healthcare management, personnel management all at the same time,” Levine said. “They had the resources of 5-6 people and given a few months to come up with billions and billions of dollars. I don’t think any of us should be surprised. The department has spent decades working on these problems, and to expect a small office to make big change in that period is not reasonable.”

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