DOD officially shuts down chief management officer job

By Tony Bertuca / September 3, 2021 at 3:22 PM

The Defense Department, in keeping with a provision in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, has officially disestablished the post of chief management officer.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, according to a Pentagon statement, has directed the CMO's responsibilities be transferred to different offices throughout DOD.

All CMO authorities with now revert back to the deputy defense secretary's office, while functions and responsibilities of the former CMO will transfer various Office of the Secretary of Defense principal staff assistants.

"The Director of Administration and Management (DA&M) will be designated as the Performance Improvement Officer and serve as the senior official for Defense Reform under the Deputy Secretary," DOD said. "The oversight of the Defense Business Systems will be shared by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the Chief Information Officer of the DOD. The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (ATSD) for Intelligence Oversight (IO) will be combined with the Privacy Civil Liberty and Transparency (PCLT) functions under a new official called the ATSD (PCLT)."

The Pentagon will review the new arrangement after a year to assess "any potential need for adjustments," according to DOD.

Congress fist established the CMO job in 2017 intending it become the third-most senior job in the Pentagon. But lawmakers, backed by recommendations from the Defense Business Board, soon came to view the position as a hindrance to the Pentagon, despite defense officials' repeated insistence it had found billions in savings.

The Defense Business Board, however, reported in May 2019 that the CMO position had been "mostly ineffective" and was "never set up for success."