The Department of Defense announced today that the Business Initiative Council (BIC) has approved four more initiatives, bringing the total of approved initiatives to 32, since its first meeting in September 2001. These latest initiatives are designed to enhance the processes for corporate operations, logistics and readiness, and acquisition management.
First, within the corporate operations arena, the department is reviewing the policies governing cell phone reimbursement in order to provide a flat payment for official use of employees' personal cell phones. This will greatly simplify accounting and oversight requirements.
In a second initiative, the department plans to streamline mandated requirements for independent readiness assessments of critical technologies and allow program managers and the science and technology executives of each Service component to jointly decide if assessments are warranted.
The department's third initiative will identify non-value added, recurring reporting requirements, which can be eliminated. The fourth initiative seeks to streamline the information technology equipment disposal process, by clarifying business rules and eliminating duplication.
The council, established in June 2001 and presided over by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Pete Aldridge, was originally comprised of the military Service secretaries and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Senior Executive Council (SEC), chaired by the secretary of Defense, recently approved the expansion of the BIC membership to include the under secretary of Defense, comptroller and chief financial officer and the under secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Another change is the transfer of lead-Service duties from the Air Force to the Army, effective April 1, 2002. The unique operating philosophy of the BIC has been to rotate lead duties among the Services. After the Navy shepherded the program through Phase I, the Air Force assumed the lead role in October 2001.
"The Air Force has done a phenomenal job in leading the BIC effort through Phase II, and in gaining consensus among the team players, said Aldridge. "They will turn over a topnotch leadership effort to the Army."
The BIC began its efforts to improve business operations by identifying and implementing business reforms, which would allow each Service to reallocate savings to higher priorities.
"We continue to be impressed by the depth and breadth of the initiatives which the BIC is examining," said Aldridge. "In fact, all of the Services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff have tasked their subordinate units to send us more initiatives. So the initiatives are coming in from all levels of the department, from the grass roots to the highest levels, which explains the diversity of the initiatives we are reviewing."