Incentives and Information Quality in Defense Management

by Jack Stockfisch

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Examines the nature of and relationship between the demand for information, study, and analysis, on the one hand, and incentives, on the other, prevailing in present-day U.S. defense management. The report was motivated by the belief that the quality of available information, hence the efficiency of Department of Defense management, and ultimately the national security, cannot be improved until the relationship between incentives to produce institutional information and its quality is explicitly recognized. The acknowledgment of this relationship suggests that fundamental realignments in decisionmaking authority and in the roles of the divers actors be seriously examined. The report presents a budgeting procedure designed to generate healthy incentives and better information. Military departments would be given larger but constrained aggregations of resources and more freedom to allocate these resources.

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