Reorganization of the Military Departments' Acquisition Management Structures

T-NSIAD-88-28: Published: Apr 20, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1988.

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GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) acquisitions reorganization in response to the Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, including: (1) how DOD approached reorganization; (2) changes in the civilian/military balance within DOD acquisition organizations; and (3) the roles of military staff in the acquisition process. GAO found that: (1) the Army extensively restructured, integrated its two existing staffs, and eliminated about 190 headquarters positions; (2) prior to the act, the Navy instituted changes to decentralize its acquisition management, restructure systems commands, and reduce its program documentation requirements; (3) the Air Force combined the existing military and secretariat offices but limited staff integration; (4) the percentage of civilian personnel was significantly smaller in the Air Force than the other services; (5) civilians accounted for 46 percent of the Army technical and managerial acquisition staff, 44 percent of the Navy staff, and only 26 percent of the Air Force staff; (6) although the Army had a balanced mix of military and civilian personnel in key supervisory positions, the Air Force generally had military officers holding the same supervisory positions; (7) the Navy had not completed the transfer of acquisition personnel; and (8) although the Air Force Chief of Staff continued an active role in the acquisition process, the Army Chief's involvement was significantly reduced.

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