News | Oct. 29, 2020

DLA leaders brief DOD comptroller on financial successes, challenges during pandemic

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

Fiscal responsibility and Defense Logistics Agency’s global support were focus areas during an Oct. 23 briefing to Acting Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Hon. Thomas Harker.

DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic provided Harker a tour of the Agency Synchronization and Operations Center at the McNamara Headquarters Complex and several agency senior leaders briefed Harker on agency operations, the DLA Service Readiness Dashboard and other financial issues. Agency leaders highlighted the complexity of the Defense Working Capital Fund and DLA’s role in supporting the National Defense Strategy lines of effort: improving lethality, maintaining and building strong alliances, and reforming Defense Department business practices. 

DLA Executive Director of Operations Dave Kless summarized the agency’s end-to-end global supply chain management achievements including revenue, foreign military sales, contract management and COVID-19 support. He noted the agency manages over 6 million items and awards 9,000 contracts a day, 92% of which are automated.

“While we sleep at night, thousands of awards continue to be made based on algorithms,” Skubic said. “That’s a very critical capability that DLA provides.”

DLA also supports over 40 federal agencies. Although whole-of-government support fluctuates from year to year depending on natural disasters, last year’s sales totaled $7.3 billion, Kless said, adding that DLA allows federal agencies to focus on their primary mission rather than logistics and acquisition.

In addition to increasing support to entities like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, DLA recently partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Harker asked about the growth of DLA’s support to the VA and Kless said DLA is projecting $3 billion.

“We focused on the medical surgical equipment, now we’re focusing on the pharmaceutical side and seeing where it makes sense,” Kless said.

Other topics included cost recovery and management, inventory and demand planning, and information technology modernization.    

Adarryl Roberts, DLA Information Operations’ program executive officer, outlined DLA’s Warehouse Management System, which aligns with agency efforts to improve inventory accountability. The system includes delivery processing, work scheduling, shipping and receiving, physical inventory, reporting and monitoring, and transportation management and disposal.

Harker said he gleaned a lot of information that will help him convince DOD officials to invest in DLA’s global mission requirements.