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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 198-03
April 04, 2003

EIGHTH ROUND OF BUSINESS INITIATIVES APPROVED

The Department of Defense announced today the DoD Business Initiative Council (BIC) has approved additional initiatives intended to improve business practices within the Department and enhance support to the war-fighter. A total of fifty-eight initiatives have now been approved for implementation over the past 20 months.

The five initiatives approved in this round were: eliminating the need for individual ready reserve recruits to replicate their primary skill training, streamlining the military passport application process, accelerating congressional notification for validated combat needs, proposing changes to thresholds for congressional notifications of newly initiated projects, and re-engineering of depot maintenance reporting.

The BIC was launched in July 2001 to implement bureaucracy-reducing and money-saving opportunities in the business practices of the Department of Defense. This is core to Secretary Rumsfeld's broader "Battle on Bureaucracy" campaign, announced on Sept. 10, 2001. Events of the following day, and since, have not diminished the need to continue this "battle".

Along with other major improvement programs, BIC initiatives contribute to the overall objectives of more cost-effective use of DoD resources, better use of personnel, and more rapid achievement of DoD goals.

The council, established and presided over by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, the Honorable Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, is composed of the Military Departments secretaries, the under secretary of Defense for Comptroller, the under secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The BIC reports directly to the Senior Executive Council, whose members include the secretary and deputy secretary of Defense; the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; and the Military Departments secretaries.

In approving this latest round of BIC initiatives, Aldridge stated: "The Department is seeing real results from the previously approved initiatives and the enhancements to business processes are having a direct impact. The Department has, for example, streamlined the process for disposing of information technology equipment, developed a means for the Services to share common flight clearance information, improved the processes for purchasing software and hardware on an enterprise basis, re-engineered the process for personnel security investigations, and obtained Congressional approval of a number of financial management authority changes."

Responsibility for administration of the BIC will now transfer to the Air Force from the Navy Department. This responsibility is being shared among the Services on a six-month rotational basis to help assure commitment and participation. This arrangement is in keeping with the Secretary's ongoing pledge to improve Departmental coordination and collaboration.