DoD Seal

Table of Contents

National Performance Review

Report on
Reinventing the Department of Defense
September 1996


  • Supply System for Purchase of Instructional Materials and Equipment. DoDEA reinvented the supply system for purchase of instructional materials and equipment for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS): 170 schools/ 13 countries/ 84,500 students.

Defense General Supply Center (DGSC), Richmond, VA served as link between the schools & U.S. vendor base, procuring instructional materials and equipment. Each school typed requisitions, mailed documents to DGSC, and awaited orders to arrive. Communication between DGSC and the schools was difficult, sporadic, and often futile. Neither fully understood the needs of the other, sharing only a few working hours due to time differences. DGSC employees were mired in labor-intensive work with huge backlogs of paper orders. In 1991, USD (C) insisted on a performance review through PBD 081. Surveys revealed an on-time supply delivery rate in some schools as low as 45%.

A wide-ranged, multi-faceted technology improvement plan took shape, beginning with the purchase of desk top computers, converting manual operations to automated ones. Resources were obtained and the backlog was attacked with a vengeance, using overtime, and expedited hiring to fill vacancies with management emphasis focused on the effort. Employee meetings occurred on a regular basis; brainstorming identified scores of suggestions.

By making program changes, a marginally successful mainframe computer system became an effective management tool. An imaging system was procured and linked to the mainframe. DoDEA connected the requisition generating computer system at every school to the mainframe, through an electronic mail interface--computers were talking to computers. Workflow was reshaped and the Richmond work force was reorganized and downsized (125 to 77) to meet new demands--machines were now doing the routine, freeing people to make decisions about alternative products and their availability. Supplies and equipment ontime delivery rate rose to 85%. Materials arrived within 1 to 4 months. DESPO employees are starting to understand school supply issues. Schools now understand the challenges of education material procurements. Teachers and students are benefiting with the instructional materials on site when they need them.

  • Implementation of Labor/Management Partnership and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Pilot. In order to cut red tape and empower DoDEA employees, DoDEA management and the Overseas Federation of Teachers (OFT) have embarked on a wide-ranging partnership to improve the labor-management relations culture.

In November 1995, representatives of labor and management met and agreed to bring district superintendents, school principals, and their staffs together with union representatives for partnership training. In a two-day session, participants:

- Jointly assessed the present labor relations climate and culture

- Identified areas for improvement

- Received training in communications and labor/management relations

- Developed a framework for further partnership training, and criteria for evaluating

partnership activities

- Agreed to make cutting red tape, empowering employees, and cooperative labor relations

common goals

- Determined to pilot ADR

In February 1996, representatives met again to design the ADR pilot program. It will be tested in eight Europe schools during school year 1996-1997, evaluated, and expanded if successful. The key outcome expected is an atmosphere of enhanced mutual trust and

respect through:

- Involvement of appropriate stakeholders

- Clarification of roles, rights, and responsibilities

- Enhanced communication and mutual understanding

  • DEOC Task Force On Discrimination And Sexual Harassment. In May 1994, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense convened the Defense Equal Opportunity Counsel (DEOC) Task Force on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. Each had made clear his personal commitment to equal opportunity, and both had expressed concerns about allegations that several complaints of discrimination and harassment had been handled inadequately or insensitively. They asked the Secretary of the Air Force and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to co-chair the task force that would:

- review the Military Services' discrimination complaints systems

- recommend Department-wide standards for discrimination complaints processing, where

necessary, to ensure the fair and prompt resolution of complaints.

On May 5, 1995, the task force published its report recommending 48 improvements in the way the Armed Services deal with discrimination and harassment. In August 1995, the Department re-issued Department of Defense Directive 1350.2, "Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity Program," incorporating the task force report's recommendations into policy guidance.

The DEOC Task Force on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, its report and recommendations, and the resulting Department of Defense policy guidance are illustrative of the goals of the National Performance Review and reinventing government themes of cutting red tape and putting customers first.

The new policy guidance contained in DoDD 1350.2 "cut through bureaucratic red tape" and "put users of the complaint system first" in the Military Departments by requiring:

- Common definitions key terms

- Specific timelines for filing and resolving complaints

- Toll-free or local helplines that provide information on discriminatory behavior

- A central point of contact staffed with qualified and trained EO counselors

- Reprisal prevention procedures

- A review for legal sufficiency

- Timely and periodic feedback

- Specific appeal procedures.

The Military Departments developed implementing instructions based on the DoD policy guidance which are in effect presently.

  • Women Assignment Policy. Secretary Perry is committed to increasing opportunities for women in the military. In the past three years, changes to the women assignment policy have resulted in some 260,000 additional positions; more than 90% of all career fields can now be filled by either men or women. Today, women are assigned to positions that were previously closed in combat aviation, aboard combatant naval vessels, and in ground units. The key foundation of our Armed Forces is quality people. The changes to the women assignment policies allows smaller Armed Forces the flexibility to recruit, train, and assign the most qualified person, man or woman, to positions that will enhance our already high state of readiness.

  • Downsizing of the Active Duty Military Personnel. In the past three years, the Department of Defense has reduced its active duty military strength by more than 460,000 personnel, from 1.99 million to 1.52 million. DoD accomplished this goal while maintaining a high state of readiness and treating people fairly and with dignity. DoD implemented personnel policies and programs that focused on reducing or eliminating the adverse affects of the personnel reductions through extensive use of voluntary programs, incentives, and management actions. These efforts were a tremendous success--achieving 95% of our strength reduction through these voluntary programs. DoD also provided extensive transition assistance and benefits for our separating personnel and their family members.

  • Military Recruiting. The Department of Defense's military recruiting is designed to achieve active and reserve component military personnel objectives under an all-volunteer concept. To accomplish that mission, the Department provides a professional, knowledgeable recruiting staff dedicated to providing our customers (the youth of our nation) with accurate, timely information regarding the benefits and opportunities of military service.

Because of its total quality approach and commitment to customer service, DoD is able to attract high quality youth to join the military. Since 1981, all Services have met their recruiting objectives. This is because of the professionalism of our recruiters, and their continuous efforts to portray the military as a viable post-high school option.

The Department conducts studies and analyses targeting youth and their influencers to better understand our market and adjust marketing strategies to most effectively meet the diversified personnel requirements of the Services.

Recruitment advertising also is an essential component of our image to customers. DoD and the Services have directed advertising efforts to most effectively communicate military opportunities and to promote the Armed Forces as a viable career option. The Department invests about $125 million for television and radio spots, magazine and newspaper advertisements, and a range of promotional material, including direct mail programs.

The Department is undertaking further research to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of local versus national advertising and to determine the most cost-effective media mix (i.e., network or cable television, radio, magazines) within those markets. The result should be a better ability to target advertising dollars more effectively.

The Department is implementing several information systems to improve personnel management, recruiting and entrance processing efficiency, and quality of life for recruiting and entrance processing personnel. These include: (1) a standard integrated recruiting information system for use by all 12 Armed Service components (provides one-time data entry, automates lead generation, prospecting, and processing, and automates forms which reduces a requirement for forms), and (2) a computerized enlistment test (reduces testing time by 50 percent, improves test security, and increases accuracy of measurement of recruit aptitudes).

The Deputy Secretary of Defense has created a senior-level oversight committee to monitor military recruiting. This Committee, composed of the Deputy Secretary, the Secretaries of the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy), meets quarterly to evaluate progress toward recruiting mission accomplishment.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Department of Defense Office of Complaints Investigations is using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) efforts (mediation and fact finding) instead of conducting hearings. Use of ADR in Fiscal Year 1995 saved the Department over $8 million.

Defense Partnership Council members presented an overview of their partnership efforts at the San Antonio Air Logistics Center. The center had a history of difficult labor relations. Using partnership initiatives and training, unfair labor practice filings decreased 89 percent between FY 1992 and FY 1995. Arbitrations declined by 76 percent, union grievances were down by 82 percent, and employee grievances declined by 85 percent during the same period.

  • DoD Telecommuting Project. In support of the findings of the National Performance Review, the Department of Defense is launching a DoD Telecommuting Pilot Project. The goal of the project is to increase the number of DoD telecommuters substantially in order to evaluate the benefits of this innovative management tool and determine how telecommuting should function within the Department. To encourage greater use of telecommuting by the Military Departments and Defense Agencies, a central fund has been established at the Office of the Secretary of Defense level to be used by those Defense Components who allow employees to telecommute from one of the GSA telecommuting centers. During the pilot, we will also highlight the benefits of home-based telecommuting and assist managers in establishing home-based telecommuting arrangements.

The pilot project will run through FY 1998 and be evaluated at 6 month intervals by GSA's Office of Workplace Initiatives.

Both the National Performance Review and President Clinton's Climate Change Action Plan identified telecommuting as one solution to help the Nation achieve its environmental goals; to conserve resources by controlling the demand for transportation, energy, and real estate; and to enhance the quality of worklife of employees. Major areas of benefit include:

Significant savings can be achieved by reducing the number of dedicated workstations in the principal office (including space, furniture, and equipment). Studies have shown significant increases in employee productivity once a new telecommuting arrangement is in place.

Telecommuting will allow us to serve our customers better. For example, DoD investigators, inspectors, and auditors will be able to spend more time with clients since they will be able to leave for appointments directly from their telecommuting site rather than having to report first to a central office worksite.

Through the use of telecommuting technology, reports of investigations, inspections, and audits will be submitted on a more timely basis. This is especially critical when employee clearances are involved.

Telecommuting allows employees to spend more time with their families and gives individuals more time and energy to devote to community projects, volunteerism, and educational goals.

It also enables disabled employees to continue their important and productive work.

Telecommuting decreases energy consumption, increases air quality, decreases traffic congestion, and increases traffic safety by reducing the amount of time employees spend in rush-hour traffic.