News | Aug. 3, 2017

New DLA Charter outlines agency’s authorities

By Beth Reece

A new Department of Defense document outlines the Defense Logistics Agency’s mission as assigned by law. The charter, DoD Directive 5105.22, is an update to the 2006 version and identifies DLA as the department’s executive agent for numerous classes supply and includes newer authorities such as nuclear enterprise sustainment and retail support at military industrial sites.

“Many of our customers look to this document when they want to learn about what DLA can offer them and what DLA has the authority to do, so it’s an important way of keeping them informed,” said Mike Perozziello, chief of DLA Transformation’s Strategic Initiatives and Governance Division. 

The creation of deployable teams that can support combatant commands in operational contracting, material disposition and distribution is another example of DLA’s newer functions. The charter also includes lesser-known authorities DLA has carried out for many years, like human resources and information technology support for other federal agencies.

The directive is the result of nearly six years of internal reviews and coordination among members of DLA Transformation, headquarters-level directorates, field activities, the military services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

“OSD and the military services have to review the charter, and agree and understand all the authorities outlined. It really delineates things because you wouldn’t want two organizations thinking they both had the mission to do the same thing, for example,” Perozziello said.

It’s common for support organizations like DLA to have a DoD charter, though most are only a couple pages long compared to the agency’s 22 pages.

“It’s a testament to the sheer amount of things we do,” said Jamie Fortier, a program analyst on Perozziello’s team who helped draft the update and worked with DLA General Counsel officials to ensure legal accuracy.

“The General Counsel keeps track of our authorities independently. They know when a new law gets passed and when there are legal implications that direct DLA’s support. Every version of this document was scrutinized by them before it left the building for review by the services and DoD,” she said.

The agency’s ever-evolving mission, changes in DLA directors and a possible OSD reorganization made finalizing the document a challenge. Officials determined early this year that roles and reporting structures wouldn’t change so significantly that the document couldn’t be easily amended if necessary, Fortier added.

“Once we get through the review cycles with the military, there’s a certain timeframe by which the document has to be approved and signed or we have to go through the process all over again. This charter was such a long time in coming that we were all very relieved when the document was finally signed,” she said.

While the charter was created to give customers a brief outline of DLA’s support, it may also be a valuable resource for DLA employees who want to broaden their knowledge of the agency’s mission.

“I had the luxury early on in my career to go around to a lot of the different activities and see what each of them do, but a lot of people don’t have that opportunity. For them, this is a single document they can look at for a quick glance at all the stuff going on in the agency,” Perozziello said.

The document also includes a two-page list of documents that define DLA’s authorities in deeper detail, which employees may also find useful, Fortier added.

The charter is publicly available on the DoD Issuances website.