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Executive Order 12526—President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management

July 15, 1985

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. I), a Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment. (a) There is established the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management. The Commission shall be composed of no fewer than ten and no more than seventeen members appointed or designated by the President.

(b) The composition of the Commission shall include persons with extensive experience and national reputations in commerce and industry, as well as persons with broad experience in government and national defense.

(c) The President shall designate a Chairman from among the members of the Commission. The Chairman shall appoint a professional and administrative staff to support the Commission.

Sec. 2. Functions. (a) The Commission shall study the issues surrounding defense management and organization, and report its findings and recommendations to the President and simultaneously submit a copy of its report to the Secretary of Defense.

(b) The primary objective of the Commission shall be to study defense management policies and procedures, including the budget process, the procurement system, legislative oversight, and the organizational and operational arrangements, both formal and informal, among the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified and Specified Command system, the Military Departments, and the Congress. In particular, the Commission shall:

1. Review the adequacy of the defense acquisition process, including the adequacy of the defense industrial base, current law governing Federal and Department of Defense procurement activities, departmental directives and management procedures, and the execution of acquisition responsibilities within the Military Departments;

2. Review the adequacy of the current authority and control of the Secretary of Defense in the oversight of the Military Departments, and the efficiency of the decisionmaking apparatus of the Office of the Secretary of Defense;

3. Review the responsibilities of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in providing for joint military advice and force development within a resource-constrained environment;

4. Review the adequacy of the Unified and Specified Command system in providing for the effective planning for and use of military forces;

5. Consider the value and continued role of intervening layers of command on the direction and control of military forces in peace and in war;

6. Review the procedures for developing and fielding military systems incorporating new technologies in a timely fashion;

7. Study and make recommendations concerning congressional oversight and investigative procedures relating to the Department of Defense; and

8. Recommend how to improve the effectiveness and stability of resources allocation for defense, including the legislative process.

(c) In formulating its recommendations to the President, the Commission shall consider the appropriate means for implementing its recommendations. The Commission shall first devote its attention to the procedures and activities of the Department of Defense associated with the procurement of military equipment and materiel. It shall report its conclusions and recommendations on the procurement section of this study by December 31, 1985. The final report, encompassing the balance of the issues reviewed by the Commission, shall be submitted not later than June 30, 1986, with an interim report to be submitted not later than March 31, 1986.

(d) The Commission shall be in place and operating as soon as possible. Shortly thereafter, the Commission shall brief the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Secretary of Defense on the Commission's plan of action.

(e) Where appropriate, implementation of the Commission's recommendations shall be considered in accordance with regular administrative procedures coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget, and involving the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, and other departments or agencies as required.

Sec. 3. Administration. (a) The heads of Executive agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Commission such information as it may require for purposes of carrying out its functions.

(b) Members of the Commission shall serve without additional compensation for their work on the Commission. However, members appointed from among private citizens may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in the government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), to the extent funds are available.

(c) The Secretary of Defense shall provide the Commission with such administrative services, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be necessary. Any expenses of the Commission shall be paid from such funds as may be available to the Secretary of Defense.

Sec. 4. General. (a) Notwithstanding any other Executive order, the functions of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, except that of reporting to the Congress, which are applicable to the Commission, shall be performed by the Secretary of Defense, in accordance with guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.

(b) The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the submission of its final report.


The White House,

July 15, 1985.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:43 p.m., July 16, 1985]

Note: The Executive order was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 16.

Ronald Reagan, Executive Order 12526—President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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