DOD deputy secretary sets Jan. 1 deadline for transferal of chief management officer assets

Data oversight responsibilities from the now-defunct role will fall to the DOD CIO and chief data officer.
Kathleen Hicks takes a phone call from a senator shortly before her Senate confirmation hearing for Deputy Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. Feb. 2, 2021. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2022 for the transferal of assets and responsibilities from the now-abolished office of the chief management officer to other officials or organizations.

In a memo to senior Pentagon staff on Wednesday, the defense leader outlined a plan for the reallocation of responsibilities, including those of data oversight, which now fall to the agency’s CIO and chief data officer.

“[E]ach responsibility assigned to, and the personnel, functions, and assets of, the chief management officer of the Department of Defense, as of January 1, 2021, shall be transferred to another official or organization no later than January 1, 2022,” Hicks wrote in the memo.

The Pentagon in January this year abandoned the CMO role, which was created to overhaul business practices and oversee tech reform within the department. The decision to disestablish the role followed a recommendation from the DOD advisory board.


Other responsibilities that will be reassigned include that of defense reform and performance improvement, which now fall to the director of administration and management.

Responsibilities for defense business systems now also fall to the DOD comptroller, as well as the CIO.

According to the memo, the assistant to the secretary of defense for intelligence oversight will  now take responsibility for privacy, civil liberties and transparency and regulatory oversight.

The Defense Business Council will also be tri-chaired on an interim basis by the director of administration and management, the chief financial officer, and the DOD CIO.

“These realignments of former CMO responsibilities represent only the latest step in the ongoing efforts to improve strategic-level management and oversight at the highest levels of the Department,” added Hicks. “We will review these arrangements after one year to assess any potential need for adjustments.”

John Hewitt Jones

Written by John Hewitt Jones

John is the managing editor of FedScoop, and was previously a reporter at Institutional Investor in New York City. He has a master’s degree in social policy from the London School of Economics and his writing has appeared in The Scotsman and The Sunday Times of London newspapers.

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