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Transitions in Defense Management Reform: A Review of the Government Accountability Office’s Chief Management Officer Recommendation and Comments for the New Administration

Authors


Philip J. Candreva is a senior lecturer in budgeting and senior associate of the Center for Defense Management Reform in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He served 22 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and received his master’s degree with distinction from the Naval Postgraduate School. His work has appeared in Public Administration Review, Armed Forces and Society, International Public Management Review, and Public Budgeting and Finance.
E-mail: pjcandre@nps.edu

Douglas A. Brook is a professor of public policy and director of the Center for Defense Management Reform in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Army (financial management), assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy (financial management and comptroller), and as acting director of the Office of Personnel Management. He holds a doctorate in public policy from George Mason University and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
E-mail: dabrook@nps.edu

Abstract

The Government Accountability Office believes the answer to the U.S. Defense Department’s persistent management problems is to be found in the creation of a new position, chief management officer, to oversee defense business transformation. The recommendation for this position is reviewed and used to raise questions and spur inquiry in the areas of evidence-based reform, the relationship between policy and administration, auditor overreach, and sustaining reforms through transition. The latter portion is expanded in this time of transition, and recommendations are made to the new administration to develop a management agenda, to the defense career executives to facilitate the transition, and to the next comptroller general to consider how the Government Accountability Office’s varied roles produce outputs that align with the desired outcomes in both the policy and administration domains.

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