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Armed Services Committees Leadership Announces Selections for Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution Reform

Today, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and U.S. Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), announced their appointments, pursuant to Sec. 1004 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, to the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution Reform.

The NDAA tasked the Commission with assessing the effectiveness of the Defense Department’s planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process (PPBE); examining more efficient alternatives to the process; and developing policy recommendations that will enable the Defense Department to rapidly field operational capabilities and outpace America’s near-peer competitors. Per the law, the Commission must submit its final report to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees and the Secretary of Defense no later than September 24, 2023.

The 14-person Commission is composed of two appointments by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, two appointments by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, two appointments by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, two appointments by the Chairs of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee, two appointments by the Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, two appointments by the Chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, and two appointments by the Ranking Members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees.

The appointments are as follows:

Chairman Reed selected: The Honorable Robert F. Hale is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2009 until 2014, Mr. Hale served as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Defense. Previously, he served as the head of Air Force financial management and spent 12 years as head of the defense group at the Congressional Budget Office. He was the Executive Director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers and held analytic and management positions at LMI government consulting and the Center for Naval Analyses. Early in his career he served as a Navy officer. Mr. Hale has served as a Commissioner on the National Commission on the Future of the Army and is a past member of the Defense Business Board. Currently he is on the board of the Air Force Aid Society and, since 2001, he has been a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration. Mr. Hale holds a B.S. with honors from Stanford University in statistics, an M.S. from Stanford in operations research, and an MBA from the George Washington University.

Chairman Smith selected: The Honorable Eric Fanning is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Fanning joined AIA after serving as the 22nd Secretary of the Army. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force and Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy/Deputy Chief Management Officer. During his more than 25 years of distinguished government service, Fanning worked on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, was Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Business Executives for National Security, was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, and was associate director of political affairs at the White House. Fanning holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College.

Ranking Member Inhofe selected: The Honorable Ellen M. Lord is a senior adviser at The Chertoff Group, where she provides counsel regarding defense programs, homeland security, and the protection of critical infrastructure. From 2017 to 2020, Ms. Lord served as the first Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, where she led implementation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework and oversaw the department’s significant contracting and logistics support in the interagency response to COVID-19. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Lord served as the President and CEO of Textron Systems from 2012 to 2017. In addition, Ms. Lord has held positions at the National Defense Industrial Association, the U.S.-India Business Council, the Center for a New American Security, and the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation. Ms. Lord earned a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Connecticut College.

Ranking Member Rogers selected: Raj Shah is the Managing Partner of Shield Capital, an investment firm focused on technologies applicable to both the commercial and defense markets. He is also the chairman of Resilience Insurance, a start-up powering new approaches to cyber insurance and security. Previously he ran the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), reporting to the Secretary of Defense. Raj led DIUx in its efforts to strengthen U.S. armed forces through contractual and cultural bridges between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon. Previous to that, Raj was senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks, which acquired Morta Security, where he was CEO and co-founder. Raj serves as a reserve F-16 pilot in the US Air Force and has completed multiple overseas combat deployments. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Under the law, the purpose of the Commission is to:

(1) Examine the effectiveness of the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process and adjacent practices of the Department of Defense, particularly with respect to facilitating defense modernization;

(2) Consider potential alternatives to such process and practices to maximize the ability of the Department of Defense to respond in a timely manner to current and future threats; and

(3) Make legislative and policy recommendations to improve such process and practices in order to field the operational capabilities necessary to outpace near-peer competitors, provide data and analytical insight, and support an integrated budget that is aligned with strategic defense objectives.

The Commission shall perform the following duties:

(1) Compare the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process of the Department of Defense, including the development and production of documents including the Defense Planning Guidance (described in section 113(g) of title 10, United States Code), the Program Objective Memorandum, and the Budget Estimate Submission, with similar processes of private industry, other Federal agencies, and other countries.

(2) Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the efficacy and efficiency of all phases and aspects of the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process, which shall include an assessment of—

(A) the roles of Department officials and the timelines to complete each such phase or aspect;

(B) the structure of the budget of Department of Defense, including the effectiveness of categorizing the budget by program, appropriations account, major force program, budget activity, and line item, and whether this structure supports modern warfighting requirements for speed, agility, iterative development, testing, and fielding;

(C) a review of how the process supports joint efforts, capability and platform lifecycles, and transitioning technologies to production;

(D) the timelines, mechanisms, and systems for presenting and justifying the budget of Department of Defense, monitoring program execution and Department of Defense budget execution, and developing requirements and performance metrics;

(E) a review of the financial management systems of the Department of Defense, including policies, procedures, past and planned investments, and recommendations related to replacing, modifying, and improving such systems to ensure that such systems and related processes of the Department result in—

(i) effective internal controls;
(ii) the ability to achieve auditable financial statements; and
(iii) the ability to meet other financial management and operational needs; and

(F) a review of budgeting methodologies and strategies of near-peer competitors to understand if and how such competitors can address current and future threats more or less successfully than the United States.

(3) Develop and propose recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process.