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Todd Davis

Layers Upon Layers

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While the topic is not new, a recent article on Government Executive cited some eye opening numbers on the layers of leadership in Government, which increased by more than 400% between 1961 and 2016.  During that same time the numbers of leaders per layer has grown nearly 750%.  Some of the position titles even bear out the data, including "deputy chief of staff to the assistant secretary” and “associate assistant deputy administrator.” 

http://www.govexec.com/management/2017/04/pay-freezes-helped-make-government-top-heavy-says-scholar/136684/?oref=top-story

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Any organism that cannot excrete its waste cannot thrive. The Chief of Staff for the Principal Associate Deputy Director of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary told me so.

Also, as a fair warning to high-level DOD employees fearing high-level staff reductions: When you look across the org chart and see that multiple people have been serving or acting or performing the duties of two, three, or four high-level positions...with no serious problems...what does this tell you about the need for these positions?

Quotation from article:

QUOTE Hence President Trump may have been on to something, Light said, when he recently told “Fox and Friends” that the reason he has been slow to fill hundreds of sub-Cabinet agency posts is that “a lot of those jobs, I don’t want  to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have.” END QUOTE

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Back in the 1990s, GAO was cut by about 30 percent.  The result?  Its productivity increased and it issued more reports!  

At about that time to cut costs, GAO reduced its number of regional and sub-offices.  One of its cost-cutting moves was to eliminate the Albuquerque sub-office and move its members to the Denver regional office.  The Albuquerque work was done with Denver staff on tdy.  You guessed it.  That staff was the former Albuquerque staff because they had the required clearances.  I would have had the former Albuquerque staff work at their homes instead of incurring travel costs.  After all, even then, electronic connections with the home office was in place.  Classified matters, if necessary, could have been handled at the agencies being audited. 

 

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I long ago thought that the USAF should be re-named the "US Aerospace Force".  

Now, at least one hair-brained  Congressman (alas from my State)  wants to create a totally separate Service within DOD. 

The AF shoulda done what I was suggesting. 😜

20 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

Here's an illustration of how "top heavy" happens. A new "three star billet" and all that that implies:

http://www.defenseone.com/politics/2017/04/air-force-reorganizing-fight-space/136733/?oref=defenseone_today_nl

The Air Force already has a Space Command. What have they been doing?

 

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The Defense Department must take a hard look at every aspect of how it is organized, staffed, and operated – indeed, every aspect of how it does business.  In each instance we must ask:  First, is this respectful of the American taxpayer at a time of economic and fiscal duress?  And second, is this activity or arrangement the best use of limited dollars, given the pressing needs to take care of our people, win the wars we are in, and invest in the capabilities necessary to deal with the most likely and lethal future threats?

As a starting point, no real progress toward savings will be possible without reforming our budgeting practices and assumptions.  Too often budgets are divied up and doled out every year as a straight line projection of what was spent the year before.  Very rarely is the activity funded in these areas ever fundamentally re-examined – either in terms of quantity, type, or whether it should be conducted at all.  That needs to change. 

http://archive.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1467

I strongly urge everybody to read this 2010 speech in full (link above).

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2 hours ago, joel hoffman said:

I long ago thought that the USAF should be re-named the "US Aerospace Force."

Joel:

According to one poly-sci prof, America doesn't need an Air Force. See "Abolish the Air Force

He gave the topic book-lenght treatment in Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force (2015), by Robert Farley.

He's very serious.

As for the managerial success of all those top layers, read: "The Most Expensive Weapon Every Built" by Daniel Soar in The London Review of Books, about the F-35, which, apparently, has finally been used in combat--by the Israelis. https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n07/daniel-soar/the-most-expensive-weapon-ever-built

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