Posted on defensecommunities.org

Defense officials will be developing a plan to trim the supervisory workforce within the office of the secretary of defense and associated defense agencies and field activities, following a recent directive from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

The initiative, which is specifically aimed at “rationalizing and delayering” the management structure at DOD headquarters, represents the department’s latest reform effort to slash overhead spending.

The new effort will be led by DOD’s deputy chief management officer (DCMO), reported Federal News Radio. The DCMO will form a team of subject matter experts to work with affected organizations “to conduct a review of supervisory ratios and spans of control; create standardized frameworks; and develop implementation plans for the to-be rationalized organization in compliance with staff reduction requirements,” according to a July 24 memo from Work.

Those plans would be reviewed by a joint panel, with Work ruling on any remaining disputes. The memo did not include a target date for completing the exercise.

In 2013, the Pentagon ordered defense agencies and military services to trim their headquarters spending by 20 percent, a cut the House Armed Services Committee includes in this year’s defense authorization bill. The Senate version of the fiscal 2016 policy bill, though, calls for reducing funding for headquarters and administrative functions for military services, defense agencies, combatant commands, the office of the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by 30 percent over four years.

In March, Work announced a separate initiative to target spending on six back-office business areas — human resources, procurement, logistics, service contracting, real estate and property management, health care and financial management.

Work’s latest memo also directs the DCMO to lead an effort to improve the “outcomes of contracted services through standardized processes and governance structures.” The task is intended to ensure DOD is validating its need for service contracts in a standardized way, according to the story.