The Department of Defense (DOD) needs to improve its data about cost saving and streamlining opportunities, according to a June 30 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

“Facing budget pressures, DOD is seeking to reduce its headquarters activities by identifying streamlining opportunities,” the report said. “DOD has taken steps to improve some available data on headquarters organizations, but does not have reliable data for assessing headquarters functions and associated costs.”

According to the report, DOD identified $62 billion to $84 billion in cost saving opportunities from fiscal years 2016 to 2020, and it is pursuing four initiatives to achieve those savings, including: business process and system reviews, an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) organizational delayering initiative, a services requirements review board, and a review of the organization and responsibilities of the DOD.

The report noted that DOD had, in conjunction with GAO recommendations, established a framework and definition for headquarters activities.

“The one departmentwide 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,” the report said. “Further, DOD does not have plans to collect information on costs associated with functions within headquarters organizations. This may hinder DOD’s ability to conduct an in-depth review for purposes of consolidating and streamlining headquarters functions.”

GAO has recommended that DOD align its headquarters-related data with its revised headquarters definition, and to collect more data on costs and cost savings associated with their headquarters, which DOD agreed with.

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Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.