The Department of Defense (DoD) is a department of the federal government and has three main components: The departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The DoD is housed in the Pentagon building. The department's roles and limits are contained in Title 10 of the US Code. This section of the law has five components: Subtitle A refers to General Military Law, Subtitle B to the Army, Subtitle C to the Navy and the Marine Corps, Subtitle D to the Air Force and Subtitle E to Military Reserves. Important agencies within the DoD include the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), National Security Agency (NSA), the Missile Defense Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The DoD receives the largest portion of each year's federal discretionary spending budget. 

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Latest Headlines

GAO finds DoD planning for climate change impact mitigation lacking

Defense Department officials have begun to observe real impacts of climate change on military facilities, but poor planning and processes leave the department ill-equipped to protect infrastructure that may be at risk, says the Government Accountability Office.

FAA 'significantly' behind in integrating unmanned aircraft safely into nation's airspace, IG says

The FAA is facing major technological, regulatory and management barriers and until they're addressed, integration of drones or unmanned aircraft systems for civilian and law enforcement purposes will be slow and risky, the IG's report (pdf) said.

GAO: Wider adoption of open systems approach could help DoD enhance systems, gain substantial savings

Despite some positive developments in implementing an open systems approach to product development, congressional investigators found that the Defense Department faces several challenges, namely a preference to purchase proprietary systems.

GAO: DoD doesn't accurately assess inventory that could be reduced

The Defense Logistics Agency doesn't properly forecast what Defense Department inventory can be disposed of in order to save money, a June 19 Government Accountability Office report says. DLA disposed of $4 billion in items for a net reduction of $2.5 billion to its on-hand inventory toward the Defense Department's fiscal 2013 goal of $11.7 billion, the report said.

Report: VA and DoD don't know outcomes of PTSD treatment

The agencies responsible for serving military members with post traumatic stress disorder don't know if the treatment programs are working, a June 20 Institute of Medicine report says. The Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department spent $294 million and about $3 billion respectively in 2012 on PTSD treatment programs.

OMB proposes eliminating 74 agency reports

The Office of Management and Budget Wednesday identified 74 agency reports that could be eliminated to reduce agencies' workload and save money. Those 74 reports come after OMB identified 35 reports to be eliminated back in 2012. But Congress has to act to actually eliminate the reports

GAO: US counterterrorism program in West Africa needs to better track, manage, report funds

The primary U.S. counterterrorism program in northwest Africa – where terrorist groups including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram operate – has spent about $140 million since 2009, but program managers were unable to easily provide data on the status of the funds, a congressional investigation has found.

DoD seeks mobile application support, commercial device guidance

A pair of notices posted to FedBizOpps June 20 show the DoD is looking to purchase enterprise apps at a discount to host on its app store as well as gather strategies for fostering custom mobile app development. It also has a number of questions about how to best support commercial mobile devices while ensuring compliance with National Security Agency security and privacy standards.

GAO: DoD didn't take steps to ensure contactor pay was correct

The Defense Department didn't fully implement the steps required to make sure contractor pay was correct, a June 23 Government Accountability Office report says. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service is responsible for processing and disbursing nearly $200 billion annually in contract payments for the DoD, the report says.

GAO: DoD mismanaging Tricare contractor transition program

The Defense Department's inadequate guidance and insufficient oversight of its Tricare program led to problems with healthcare delivery, a June 18 Government Accountability Office report says. "The recent transition of TRICARE's managed care support contractors in the West region did not go smoothly and highlighted numerous deficiencies in guidance and oversight by the Tricare Management Activity – the DoD's office responsible for awarding and managing these contracts at the time of GAO's review," the GAO said.