Ellen Lord: DoD ‘Fourth Estate’ Review Looks at Agencies’ Warfighting Functions

Jeff Brody
Ellen Lord

Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense’s review of “fourth estate” agencies could impact offices that have no direct ties to warfighting, Defense News reported Tuesday.

“As we’ve gone through a lot of the different areas, if it isn’t war fighting, if it’s something that one of the other agencies or the other departments across government has asked us to do, or if it’s something that should be a function of another department because it’s not about lethality, it will get cut,” Lord said Monday during a panel at Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

She said the Defense Acquisition University, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and other A&S offices have undergone the Pentagon’s review process and that the department might seek congressional help as it works to find efficiencies through the review process.

“I think one of the greatest outcomes of this process is finding out where we are being held by statute to do things that might not, today, be in our best interest, where they were five, 10, 15 years ago,” Lord said. “So we will go back to Congress and ask them for relief in certain areas where we think if we do things differently, we can gain some efficiencies.”

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