Key Issues > Transforming DOD's Business Operations
defense icon, source: [West Covina, California] Progressive Management, 2008

Transforming DOD's Business Operations

Weaknesses in key business operations within the Department of Defense (DOD) adversely affect DOD's efficiency and effectiveness, and hinder its ability to free up resources for higher priority needs.

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DOD spends billions of dollars each year to sustain key business operations intended to support the warfighter. At a time of growing fiscal constraints, transforming DOD’s business operations will be critical.

Many of DOD's key business operations are high-risk due to their vulnerability to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. Longstanding deficiencies have resulted in a lack of adequate accountability, causing DOD to experience cost growth and waste billions of dollars annually.

  • High-risk areas specific to DOD include its approach to business transformation, business systems modernization, support infrastructure management, financial management, supply chain management, weapon system acquisition, and DOD contract management.
  • In addition, DOD shares responsibility for several high-risk areas that are governmentwide in nature, such as managing federal real property management, strategic human capital management, and management of interagency contracting.


Common to all of DOD’s high-risk areas is the need for sustained, senior-level leadership and a more strategic decision-making approach to ensure that programs and investments are based on plans with measurable goals, clear objectives, validated requirements, prioritized resource needs, and performance measures to gauge progress.

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Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs

GAO-12-400SP: Published: Mar 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2012.

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