Just three years after Congress created a new civilian position focused on Defense Department reforms and named it the No. 3 official in the Pentagon, key lawmakers are leaning toward eliminating the office.
Congressional documents accompanying the recently signed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act require a series of studies from the Department of Defense on whether the chief management officer position has been successful, with the stated goal to “disestablish the Chief Management Officer position altogether.”
It’s a hard turn from the 2016 NDAA, which elevated the longstanding deputy chief management officer position to a full CMO role, with expanded powers and authorities. And the new language emerged just days before Lisa Hershman, a former CEO who had been serving as acting chief management officer, received Senate confirmation Dec. 19 by unanimous consent, something of a mixed signal being sent the Pentagon’s way. (Hershman will be sworn in after the holidays.)
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