Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Defense Establishment Reforms

April 2, 1986

The President has signed a directive to implement virtually all of the recommendations presented to him in the interim report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management. The Presidential directive and separate instructions issued by Secretary of Defense Weinberger include all of the Commission's recommendations that can be implemented by executive action.

The President takes pride and satisfaction with the many reforms already started by Secretary Weinberger and stresses that the Commission recommendations should provide the basis for structural reform which would permit the Department of Defense to build upon and go beyond what has already been accomplished. The President appreciates the Commission's statement that many of their recommendations have already been started by Secretary Weinberger. This was one of the factors that encouraged the Commission and gave them confidence that their proposals would be implemented.

The President also is indebted to David Packard, the Commission's Chairman, and the Commission for their excellent work. The recommendations of the Commission are among the most extensive reforms of the Defense Establishment since World War II. The Packard commission will continue to advise the President and Secretary Weinberger during the process of implementing the report. The President expects the Commission to elaborate on its interim recommendations by issuing additional reports prior to its final report this summer.

In signing the necessary directives to implement the Commission's recommendations, the President noted that he will send a formal message to the Congress asking for Congress to join him in implementing the Commission's recommendations. He will call on the Congress to help in the implementation of executive branch reform and also to make the important congressional reforms outlined by the Commission. The President is pleased that the Congress has begun to take the first steps in this process.