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Report | Nov. 19, 2020

Top DoD Management Challenges – Fiscal Year 2021

The Top DoD Management Challenges document identifies the top management and performance challenges impacting the DoD for FY 2021 and beyond.  Each Inspector General is required by law to prepare this annual statement summarizing what the IG considers the “most serious management and performance challenges facing the agency.”  This report provides Congress and the DoD’s civilian and military leaders an independent assessment of the management and performance challenges confronting the DoD.  Finally, the Top DoD Management Challenges document must be included in the DoD’s annual financial report.

The FY 2021 Top DoD Management Challenges are:

1. Maintaining the Advantage While Balancing Great Power Competition and Countering Global Terrorism

2. Building and Sustaining the DoD’s Technological Dominance

3. Strengthening Resiliency to Non-Traditional Threats

4. Assuring Space Dominance, Nuclear Deterrence, and Ballistic Missile Defense

5. Enhancing Cyberspace Operations and Capabilities and Securing the DoD’s Information Systems, Network, and Data

6. Transforming Data Into a Strategic Asset

7. Ensuring Health and Safety of Military Personnel, Retirees, and Their Families

8. Strengthening and Securing the DoD Supply Chain and Defense Industrial Base

9. Improving Financial Management and Budgeting

10. Promoting Ethical Conduct and Decision Making

The DoD OIG independently identified these challenges based on a variety of factors, including our independent research, assessment, and judgment; previous oversight work completed by the DoD OIG and other oversight organizations; congressional hearings and legislation; input from DoD officials; and issues highlighted by the media that are adversely affecting the DoD’s ability to accomplish its mission.

The challenges are not listed in order of priority, importance, or magnitude.  Rather, each challenge is critical to ensuring that the DoD meets its mission to provide combat ready forces to defend the United States. 

Each management challenge is a separate chapter in the document and in each chapter we discuss the specific challenge and its impact on the DoD, the DoD’s progress in addressing the challenge, and related DoD OIG oversight work.

The Top DoD Management Challenges and Oversight Plan are complimentary documents— the Oversight Plan is organized by management challenge.  Each chapter of the Oversight Plan provides a summary of a particular challenge, followed by an inventory of the ongoing and planned DoD OIG oversight projects that directly align to that challenge.