DoD has been carrying out initiatives to improve the efficiency of headquarters organizations and identify related cost savings, but it is unclear to what extent these initiatives will help the department achieve the potential savings it has identified, GAO has said.

Those efforts—some taken at the Pentagon’s own initiative and some at the direction of Congress—have identified $62 billion to $84 billion in potential total savings for fiscal years 2016 through 2020, it said.

The initiatives include business process and system reviews, organizational delayering, examining whether valid requirements remain for contracted services, and a review of potential changes to organizational relationships and authorities.

DoD does not have reliable data for assessing headquarters functions and associated costs despite efforts to improve that data, said GAO. For example, “the one department-wide data set that identifies military and civilian positions by specific DoD headquarters functions contains unreliable data because DoD has not aligned these data with its revised headquarters definition. Further, DoD does not have plans to collect information on costs associated with functions within headquarters organizations.”

The Pentagon concurred with GAO’s recommendation that it align its data on positions that have headquarters-related function codes with the revised definition of major headquarters activities and that it collect information on costs associated with functions within headquarters organizations.