Members of the Business Initiative Council (BIC) have approved a broad range of initiatives designed to improve business operations in the Department of Defense. Potential savings of more than $200 million are expected as a result. This first round of initiatives addressed specific areas of personnel management, operating procedures, and acquisition management.
The council, established and presided over by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Pete Aldridge, is comprised of the military service secretaries and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The BIC began work in July to implement bureaucracy-reducing or money-saving opportunities in the business practices of the Department of Defense. This is part of Secretary Rumsfeld's broader "Battle on Bureaucracy."
"We on the BIC and those who support our efforts are proud to be contributing to the secretary's initiative," said Aldridge.
The approved personnel projects include streamlined hiring procedures and enhanced flexibility managing civilian and military personnel levels. Changes in department operations addressed procedures for expanding the recovery of overpayments and simplifying certain financial transfers. The council also approved an initiative aimed at overcoming rising costs of cell phone bills by leveraging the large scale purchasing power of the department to negotiate significantly lower charges with local or regional providers.
This same "bulk-buying" concept will also be used with an expansion of the Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) to streamline the acquisition process for commercially available software products. Also approved was an initiative to move to wider use of Web-based processing of invoices and a plan to use a Web-based tool to coordinate schedules and avoid unnecessary delays at the department's test ranges and facilities.
The BIC also approved developing a common flight clearance process using information technology to reduce clearance turnaround time.
"Our criteria are simple. Before it can win adoption by the BIC, each proposal must show benefit for our warfighters, provide common good across DoD, and provide identifiable savings," said Aldridge.
This first set of initiatives is laying the foundation for future efforts by the BIC to identify and implement promising ideas and improve the way business is conducted throughout the Department of Defense. "This is only the beginning. We have many more initiatives under study that should contribute to more savings and improved efficiency," adds Aldridge.
Details of the first set of BIC initiatives are on DefenseLINK at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2001/d20011015bic.pdf