LTG Bill Grisoli, Director of the Office of Business Transformation (OBT), and key leaders attended a Focus on Defense Leader Series Briefing sponsored by Government Executive in Arlington, VA. The featured speakers were Ms. Beth McGrath, Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense and Steven Kempf, Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration with Timothy Clark, Editor at Large, Government Executive, moderating the event. The key topic was managing and improving performance in government's largest agencies. The briefing was the first of a four part series aimed at key issues of government.

Ms. McGrath opened by discussing current efforts to better synchronize, integrate and coordinate Department of Defense (DoD) business operations. Serving also as DoD's Performance Improvement Officer (PIO), Ms. McGrath reiterated her ongoing focus of achieving sustainable and enduring improvements and efficiency and effectiveness in the Department's business related enterprise policies, processes and systems.

When asked about improvements, Ms. McGrath discussed several key management issues that the department is addressing. She did emphasize the accomplishment of the Performance Accountability Council (She vice chairs) which achieved major reform and improvement by reducing the number of days to accomplish a security clearance from 277 to 54.

When asked about ongoing opportunities that she is excited about, Ms. McGrath discussed the efforts of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and present Secretary Leon Panetta's acceleration of financial auditability goals. She pointed out that among all the important business goals, financial auditability will require the support and emphasis of all leaders across the department. She spoke about the work that's been completed on Acquisition Reform and how lately there has been an "enormous amount of collaboration and coordination by stakeholders."

The Army Office of Business Transformation efforts tie-in with DoD business improvement efforts and LTG Grisoli continues to focus on Army priorities: 1) define and reengineer critical end-to-end business processes, 2) manage the Army's business systems information technology investments, 3) improve force management, 4) strengthen the Army's financial management, and 5) implement an integrated management system. LTG Grisoli agreed with Ms. McGrath that leaders must be "persistent and consistent" to meet the financial auditability goals.