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Jordan questions panel about buried report on possible Defense Department savings

March 21, 2017
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned representatives from the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Business Board (DBB) and others today about a December 2016 Washington Post report that claimed the DoD tried to bury a DBB study on potential DoD savings. Rep. Jordan questioned the officials at a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform entitled "$125 billion in savings ignored: review of DoD's efficiency study."

The DoD commissioned the DBB to find cost savings at the DoD in 2014, but according to the Post the DoD tried to bury the study's findings after the DBB identified $125 billion in potential savings – far more than the DoD expected it to find.

During the hearing, Rep. Jordan questioned former DBB Chairman Robert Stein and DoD Acting Deputy Chief Management Officer David Tillotson III about the report, how it was conducted and why its findings were seemingly treated differently.

After reading to the committee an email from Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that criticized Mabus for citing the DBB report in a speech, Rep. Jordan said, "Maybe the reason it was treated different is because some folks at DoD didn't want this out there, this eight million dollar study that shows 125 billion in savings over five years."

Stein said he didn't know why the report was seemingly treated differently, but said, "All I know is if I was still chairman of the DBB that report would have been…"

"Treated like all the reports are treated," Rep. Jordan said.

"Yes sir," Stein agreed.

Members of the Oversight committee also sent a letter to the DoD last year asking for more information about the study.

In addition to Stein and Tillotson, Scott Rutherford, senior partner at McKinsey & Company; Michael Bayer, chairman of the DBB; Kenneth Klepper, former DBB board member; and Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress also served as witnesses.

VIDEO of Rep. Jordan Q/A during the hearing: