Release
Immediate Release

Statement on Transition Activities by Acting Secretary of Defense Miller

Dec. 18, 2020

Statement by Acting Secretary of Defense Miller:

The Department of Defense will continue to provide all required support to the Agency Review Team (ART) to keep our nation and her citizens safe. As of today, we have supported 139 interviews sessions more than 200 DoD personnel, 161 requests for information, and disclosed thousands of pages of non-public and classified documents, exceeding prior transitions.  At no time has the Department  cancelled or declined any interview.

Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on OWS and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition. This is my major focus area.

After the mutually-agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today.

Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition – this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS.”

TRANSITION FACTS

To date, since November 23rd the Department has:

•            Conducted 139 interviews with 265 officials

•            Responded to 161 requests for information (RFI)

•            Provided 4,400 pages of controlled non-public information

•            Provided 900 pages of classified information

We continue to schedule interviews with senior leaders and career officials. Today, we are working to reschedule approximately 20 interviews with 40 officials until after January 1.

We continue to support with:

•            Reading materials,

•            reporting requirements,

•            and working with the Agency Review Team to validate a pilot for rapidly onboarding political appointees in a new administration.

This has all been done while:

•            taking all precautions to protect American lives from COVID-19 exposure

o            Operating under HPCON B – with only 40% of the workforce in the building and 60% teleworking.

o            Conducting all interviews virtually – something that has never been done before.

•            Implementing the National Defense Strategy

•            Supporting Operation Warp Speed to save American lives.

DoD continues to support the presidential transition aligned with the President Transition Act, White House and Biden-Harris Transition Team Memorandum of Understanding, and DoD policy.

In 2016, a total of approximately 175 RFIs were responded to and 180 interviews were conducted from November 19th through January 12th. Most of these interviews were with junior career officials, not senior leaders.  Implementing guidance from the Secretary, DoD has made available leaders at the highest levels of our organization, many senate-confirmed as well as other politically appointed leaders, and has ensured senior career officials and experts were also part of the interview process.