And So It Begins

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined eight cuts across the department, which he called the “first step” toward meeting the 20 percent staff reductions by Fiscal 2019 announced earlier this year. They include: restructuring the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, realigning the office of the director of administration and management and its components under the office of the deputy chief management officer (DCMO), transferring certain information technology systems business from DCMO to the Pentagon’s chief information officer, combining the office of the assistant secretary of defense for intelligence oversight and the defense privacy and civil liberties offices, a new reporting structure of the office of net assessment, and rebalancing resources for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness across the three assistant secretaries of defense. Hagel said he also approved plans to eliminate the five remaining deputy undersecretaries of defense who are not congressionally appointed. In addition, the Pentagon will conduct a bi-annual review to determine appropriate OSD requirements moving forward. “Most of the reductions in OSD staff that I announced today will occur through a process of natural attrition in order to minimize the impact on our workforce,” said Hagel during a Dec. 4 Pentagon briefing. However, he also noted that “additional reductions” will become necessary if sequestration continues. (Hagel/Dempsey transcript)(AFPS report)