Federal Manager's Daily Report

Defense Secretary James Mattis has ordered an internal review of business operations across the department “with an explicit goal of identifying business services and tasks that no longer merit individual military department approaches.”

The memo puts Deputy Secretary Robert Work as the head of the project, which reflects language in the 2017 defense budget ordering a review to make those operations more effective and efficient.

Said the memo: “We have sometimes allowed our focus on [military] service uniqueness to extend to business operations, leading to duplication of effort and costs we can no longer afford. To achieve greater departmental efficiency and savings, we must now pursue cross-enterprise consolidation of business activities.”

The project is to concentrate on management of: HR; finances, including cost accounting; real property; acquisition and contracting; logistics and supply chain; health care; base services including retail operations, lodging and morale, welfare and recreation services; and cyber and IT.

Work is to “establish accountable, cross-functional teams to address these lines of business, and any others you deem worthy of review. As the teams consider horizontal consolidations, they should keep a clear sight picture on maintaining or improving overall mission performance outcomes.” Recommendations are to be ready “for consideration in the FY 2019 program cycle.”

In a separate memo, Mattis outlined steps to comply with several other provisions of the 2017 defense budget, including several organizational changes at the Office of Secretary of Defense level; considering creating an undersecretary for management; and improvements in processes to support information management and cyber operations.