Navy to divide PEO EIS into two new offices for enterprise IT acquisitions

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Joshua Bowser works on a computer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) May 7, 2020. (U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Trent P. Hawkins)

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The Navy is splitting up the office that handles enterprise services acquisitions into two separate entities in order to transform how it procures digital tools and innovative technologies.

The Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) will be disestablished and in its place will be an office for just for digital and IT acquisitions, and another for “manpower, logistics and business solutions” applications.

The new digital office will take the entire IT portfolio and will redesign its structure to better fit industry best practices on tech acquisition, according to a memo obtained by FedScoop. The other office will focus on the “application layer,” or the tools that will take advantage of the more integrated back-end systems acquired by the new digital shop, Jane Rathbun, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, information operations and space, said on Government Matters.

The memo states the split will begin this month, and the two offices should be up and running by August.

Current PEO head of enterprise information systems, Ruth Lew, will lead the new digital office while the manpower, logistics and business solutions office will be run by Les Hubbard.

“To realize the vision of digital transformation and to optimize program alignment across the Navy and Marine Corps capability portfolios, I am directing the disestablishment of PEO EIS and the establishment of two new PEOs,” according to the memo, signed by assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, James “Hondo” Geurts.

The new digital PEO will support DevSecOpps, ID and access management, cybersecurity and general IT acquisition to better streamline the development of technology in the Navy. The office split is one step toward making IT a “strategic asset,” Rathbun said, as the military confronts a history of difficulties in acquiring IT services. The business solutions PEO will also help by separating the back-end IT from the applications that sailors and Marines use, she added. Rathbun will oversee the transition of standing up the two new PEOs.

The change also empowers the Navy’s recently elevated CIO to be the “functional sponsor” for tech needs, meaning the CIO’s office will help design the IT requirements that acquisition specialists will purchase. The memo outlines the new offices will absorb more functions currently outside the PEO EIS portfolio, but it doesn’t provide any specifics.

“It is such an innovative idea…combining acquisition with the actual evaluation of requirements, that really is an advantage,” Kevin Hansen, chief technology officer at Micro Focus Government Solutions during the Government Matters program.

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Acquisition, Cybersecurity, Department of Navy, DevSecOps, Hondo Geurts, PEO-EIS
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