Bud­get mess

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

De­fense of­fi­cials say one per­son they hope will not be kept on by new DefenseSecretaryRobertM.Gate­sis the­cur­ren­tun­der­sec­re­tary­ofde­fense, comptroller Tina W. Jonas.

Of­fi­cials say Mrs. Jonas’ brusque lead­er­ship­style­hasled­to­mul­ti­pleres­ig­na­tions of se­nior bud­get of­fi­cials whore­fuse­towork­forher.Oneca­reer bu­reau­crat com­plained that he re­sented be­ing called in­com­pe­tent by Mrs.Jonas,some­thinghen­ev­er­heard in his sev­eral decades in gov­ern­ment work­ing on de­fense bud­gets.

Among the de­pleted ranks of the Pen­tagon comptroller’s of­fice are about 15 se­nior ex­ec­u­tive ser­vice (SES) bud­geteers who have left over the past sev­eral years, we are told.

Mrs. Jonas, mean­while, has been qui­etly lob­by­ing friends on Capi­tol Hill,hop­ingth­at­mem­ber­sofCongress willputi­na­good­word­forher­withMr. Gates and that he will keep her on.

Mr. Gates said dur­ing his nom­i­na­tion hear­ing Dec. 6 he learned the hard­way­attheCIA­toavoidupset­ting ca­reer bu­reau­crats. The com­ment wasasignalthathein­tend­sto­give­bu­reau­crats more author­ity than they cur­rently have un­der the ap­prox­i­mately 200 po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees at the Pen­tagon. “When you treat the pro­fes­sion­alsi­nanor­ga­ni­za­tion­who[...] per­form the mis­sion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion with re­spect, and you lis­ten to the­mandy­ou­pay­at­ten­tion­tothem,I think­that­ev­ery­body­is­bet­terserved,” he said. “They were there be­fore you got there, they’ll be there af­ter you leave, and if you don’t make them a part of the so­lu­tion, they will be­come a part of the prob­lem.”

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