Mac Thornberry wants to eliminate DISA

The legislation also calls to limit department senior executive service CIO roles to just five starting in 2021.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, right, greets Pfc. Hunter Lane, left, an embarkation specialist with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., March 18, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lucas Hopkins/Released)

Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, proposed draft legislation Tuesday that would eliminate the Defense Information Systems Agency by 2021.

Under the proposal, the Pentagon chief management officer would be required by Jan. 1, 2021, to close DISA — DOD’s IT acquisition service —and transfer key services elsewhere within the Pentagon.

The Texas lawmaker’s Comprehensive Pentagon Bureaucracy Reform and Reduction Act looks to “promote efficiency and agility, reduce duplication and redundancy, and streamline bureaucracy across” the Defense Department’s 28 4th Estate support agencies. Thornberry hopes to include the legislation in the the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

The U.S. Cyber Command would absorb the Joint Force Headquarters — Department of Defense Information Network. That unit, which handles the Pentagon’s network defense, is currently led by DISA Director Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, who reports to Adm. Mike Rogers, head of Cyber Command, in that role.


Thornberry’s legislation isn’t specific about where DISA’s centralized IT acquisition responsibilities would be delegated within DOD, but it “may include the transfer of such services to the 10 military departments.”

Thornberry further targets the Pentagon’s IT operations, calling to limit department senior executive service CIO roles to just five starting in 2021. There are about 60 SES CIOs within the Defense Department, according to Thornberry.

The legislation would also shutter the Defense Technical Information Center, the Office of Economic Adjustment, the Test Resource Management Center, the Washington Headquarters Services, the Defense Human Resources Activity and the Defense Technology Security Administration, and possibly others, depending on reviews.

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