4/21/2015 — 

Opening Statement of U.S. Senator Jack Reed

Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee

 

Room SH-216

Hart Senate Office Building

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 

To consider the nomination of Mr. Peter K. Levine to be

Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense

(As Prepared for Delivery)

I thank the chairman for convening this hearing.

Peter Levine has a solid track record of achievement and success in serving the nation as a staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Peter originally came to committee in 1996, and over the years has earned the positions of both General Counsel and Staff Director.  In all roles he has been a trusted advisor to Senators, and a mentor to many of the professional staff members who have had the privilege of working with him over the years.

During that time he had advised the committee on the development of many significant pieces of legislation which have shaped the way the Pentagon does its business today, and have contributed to the success that we have seen in military operations around the world.

He has been a major force in the development of government-wide procurement reform initiatives, including the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, which has helped control costs in major defense programs.  He has also helped develop more streamlined mechanisms to build the Department’s workforce, helping the Pentagon to build and retain the workforce it needs for the future.  He has lead efforts to help the Senate combat waste, fraud, and abuse in Pentagon acquisitions, stretching back to his days as a young staff member on the Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Senate will miss Peter’s precise knowledge of laws and regulations, analytic ability, determination, and professionalism.  I expect that he will need of all these skills and more as he moves into the new position that we are considering him for today: Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.

The DCMO position is charged with the task of improving the management of the Department of Defense so as to better support our deployed forces and other warfighters.  As such, and especially in these constrained budget times, Peter will be challenged to maintain that support to warfighters, while making hard choices in eliminating lower priority functions and cut costs in the bureaucracy.  He will be charged with leading the continuous modernization of Pentagon sometimes antiquated business processes, and be responsible for the information technology systems that support the various business functions of the global DOD enterprise. 

I trust he will be up to this challenge.  I look forward to once again getting a chance to absorb some of his wisdom as we get into some of the details of this nomination hearing.  I hope that his confirmation will go smoothly, so that he can continue his tireless service to the nation.