The Defense Information Systems Agency is staying put and not moving to the Defense Department’s Cyber Command. But the Networks Integration and Information office still is going away.
In one of his last memos, recently-retired DoD Secretary Robert Gates ordered Teri Takai, the military’s chief information officer, to come up with a plan to disestablish NII by Sept. 30.
“[A] fter reviewing the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) memorandum dated Feb. 11, 2011, I recognize there are a number of significant policy, operational and practical concerns with shifting DISA to CYBERCOM that no longer make it a viable approach,” Gates wrote in an undated memo posted to a DoD website. “To this end, I believe the best course for the department is to return to the original goal of disestablishing NIl into a smaller and more focused and strengthened CIO office that has a strong relationship between DISA and CYBERCOM and achieves savings from eliminating functions that are duplicative or no longer necessary.”
Gates said Takai’s plan must include specific ways to eliminate and consolidate functions to find more cost savings.
It must transfer a portion of NII’s functions around netcentricity, command and control and major automated information system acquisition oversight to the Office of the Under Secretary of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Takai will issue a CIO directive to ensure compliance with Gates’ decision.
And finally, the plan should create a stronger relationship with a clearer delineation of “responsibilities between CIO, DISA and Cyber Command, consistent with Gates’ decision to retain responsibility for DISA within CIO.”
Gates’ decision received a positive response from one industry association.
“We are pleased that as one of his last acts, Secretary Gates resolved the issues regarding the lines of authority over IT management within the department,” said Trey Hodgkins, TechAmerica’s vice president for national security and procurement policy. “This allows Ms. Takai to clearly know her jurisdictions and she can begin to execute the requirements of the memo to effectively manage IT for the department according to the statutory authority inherent in the office of the CIO.”