PSC’s David Berteau: DoD Should Define Responsibilities for Research & Engineering Undersecretary Post

David Berteau

David Berteau, CEO of the Professional Services Council, has said the Defense Department should prioritize recruiting for the new role of defense undersecretary for research and engineering as well as clarify the position’s scope of responsibilities, FCW reported Friday.

“It seems to me that if you want the top talent that [DOD] needs and this position is being created to attract, it would be helpful if you could define the boundaries and responsibilities and interfaces of that job with the rest of the department,” Berteau said.

DoD proposed on Tuesday to split the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics role into two organizations in which an undersecretary will handle R&E functions and another one will oversee acquisition and sustainment work under a reorganization effort in compliance with the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

Berteau, formerly assistant defense secretary for logistics and materiel readiness, noted he thinks the Pentagon’s plan to place the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental under R&E “is a good way to integrate” hand-offs when it comes to technology development efforts.

He also cited the challenge associated with the AT&L reorganization.

“The real question is what’s the hand-off point from R&E to acquisition and sustainment, which is now under a different undersecretary,” Berteau added.

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