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Public Papers - 1989 - March

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Review of Management Practices at the Department of Defense

1989-03-01

The President has directed the Department of Defense to undertake a review of management practices throughout the Department. Together with this defense management review, the President has requested a plan which will accomplish full implementation of the Packard commission recommendations and realize substantial improvements in the acquisition process and in defense management overall.

The agenda for the management review closely parallels that of the original Packard commission. The focus now is to identify specific actions to address problems already clearly identified. These actions include both those which can be taken internally in the Department of Defense and subsequent actions the Congress could take to contribute to the more effective operation and management of the Department of Defense.

Examples of problems to be addressed include:

People and Organization: Identifying ways to improve the capabilities of military and civilian acquisition personnel, spelling out the appropriate role for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, strengthening the notion of individual accountability, and streamlining the acquisition management chain for major programs;

Improved Planning Processes: Reviewing the role of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in defense planning and in policy implementation and developing means to better link national security strategy and objectives to the overall defense program;

Practices and Procedures: Identifying improvements in the process of defining military needs and their links to national strategy, developing options for overseeing new program starts, identifying ways to better use commercial-style acquisition practices, finding means to reduce cost through improved production efficiency, and finding means to enhance stability in defense programs;

Government-Industry Relations: Developing strategies to encourage contractors to cut costs; improving government oversight through increased coordination, sharing of information, and clearer delineation of responsibilities; and identifying opportunities for improved implementation of standards of conduct for government acquisition personnel.

The plan resulting from this review is to be presented to the President by May 10, 1989.

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