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MOAA Shares Concerns About Commissary-Exchange Merger Plans With DoD

MOAA Shares Concerns About Commissary-Exchange Merger Plans With DoD

(Defense Department photo)

June 20, 2018

DoD will require congressional approval and authority in order to move forward to consolidate the operations of the Defense Commissary Agency and the Exchange Services (Army and Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps) - collectively known as the defense resale enterprise, into one business enterprise. Regardless, it appears, DoD is pushing ahead with a special task force to provide recommendations that would support this objective.

In a meeting this past week with DoD Chief Management Officer (CMO) John Gibson, the case for why DoD put together a cross functional task force in order to complete the first phase of the community services reform effort was presented to the MSO/VSO community.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan in an earlier memo published May 29, 2018, stated that he agreed with the recommendation from DoD's Reform Management Group (RMG), to consolidation of the defense resale enterprise in order “to achieve the economies and efficiencies necessary for the survivability of the defense resale enterprise and the continued availability of these benefits to our total force, their families, and other authorized patrons.”

In the meeting, MOAA along with others in The Military Coalition (TMC) expressed concerns to DoD about the premise that finding efficiencies in defense resale would best be realized through consolidation. Also expressed was the concern of where any potential savings would be best utilized?

It was widely agreed by the group attending the meeting that any potential savings gleaned from new efficiencies found in the defense enterprise by the task force should be put back into the military community and not used to fund other DoD readiness priorities.

MOAA and our coalition colleagues also made known to DoD officials, that efficiencies such as changes from variable pricing to fixed pricing by different regions - particularly overseas, among others, should be looked at by DoD's newly formed community services task force for cost savings and efficiencies first in presenting their business case analysis, before pressing Congress to agree to support through legislation, a complete move toward consolidation of the defense resale enterprise - an action that MOAA and our coalition colleagues believe could potentially further reduce this important earned benefit.

The Community Services Task Force is set to begin its work in July and will remain in operation for another four to seven months.

Stay engaged with MOAA's updates on this topic for the latest information regarding one of your most important earned benefits.