The Navy's No. 2 civilian today defended the decision to keep two general officers "multihatted" as deputy chief information officers despite a critical report published earlier this year that said doing so leads to fighting over budget dollars.
"That's a problem here with everything," Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters at the Pentagon today, referring to in-fighting for funding.
"That's not just in information management, it's a problem in education. . . . It's a problem in how we manage our supply chain, but you have to make earnest attempts to try and get control over that," he continued.
The remarks were in response to questions about criticism from the Navy's 2019 cybersecurity readiness review, which notes the two deputy Navy chief information officers are both "multihatted."
"This creates inconsistent communication from the top down and inconsistent messaging laterally," the report said.
"Commands and personnel remain protective of their traditional structure and budgetary status quo," the report continued.
Modly said the report is "absolutely correct" about budgetary in-fighting but contended standing up new senior executives -- a dedicated chief information officer and a chief learning officer -- will help develop a "level of visibility" necessary to mitigate those issues.
The Navy's cyber report also criticized Modly for initially assuming the responsibilities of CIO in addition to his other roles, under secretary and chief management officer. The service last week announced Aaron Weis will serve as the Navy’s CIO.
"I'll take responsibility for that but when I came here it was non-hatted. I mean there was no one in the CIO job when I got here," the under secretary said.
Asked about the report's comments on the general officers, Modly said he hopes the new structural changes associated with having a dedicated CIO will create "some unity of command with respect" to how the Navy develops and prioritizes its budget.