Secretary of Defense Issues "Zero-Based Review" of all Department of Defense Advisory Committees
On January 30, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a memo directing a zero-based review of all DOD advisory committees. The announced purpose of the review is to focus the department’s advisory committee efforts to align with the most pressing strategic priorities and the National Defense Strategy. The review will be led by the Interim Director of Administration and Management, in consultation with the Acting General Counsel of the DOD, and final recommendations will be made to the Secretary of Defense on each committee by June 1, 2021.
Included in this review is the Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB), which is an advisory board established to monitor the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (Fund) and to make recommendations to the Army and to Congress on investment priorities using resources from the Fund.
As an interim step, the Secretary directed the immediate suspension of all advisory committee operations, including those of the IWUB, until the review is completed. The Secretary also directed that all current members of DOD advisory committees where the DOD approving authority is the Secretary of Defense or where statute authorizes another DOD civilian officer or employee to act as the DOD approving authority, conclude their service no later than February 16, 2021. As a result, all current members of the IWUB will conclude their service on the IWUB by that date.
The memo along with the list of the affected DOD advisory committees can be found here.