DoD Comptroller Robert Hale to leave position

Friday - 1/31/2014, 9:56am EST

The Defense Department's Robert Hale will step down from his position as comptroller and chief financial officer.

President Barack Obama has nominated Mike McCord, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense, to replace Hale.

"When the time does come to leave the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), I will do so with decidedly mixed feelings," Hale said in a statement provided to Federal News Radio. "But having been in this job for about five years — longer than any DoD comptroller since the 1950s — I know it is getting close to the time when I should pursue other opportunities and challenges."

(Courtesy of DoD)

Hale said he plans to remain in his position until McCord's confirmation process is complete.

"I am pleased that Mike McCord has been nominated by the President to be the next undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller). If confirmed, Mike will bring continuity to the position, and I know he will do a great job," he said.

Hale did not specify what he plans to do next.

As comptroller, Hale advised Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on a number of budgetary and fiscal issues.

Hale's department is responsible for financial audit readiness plans.

Last August, former deputy Chief Management Officer Beth McGrath said DoD is on track to achieve mandates of the Financial Improvement Audit Readiness Plan by 2017.

Hale served during a "turbulent time" for the Defense Department, especially during employee furloughs and the government shutdown.

The Pentagon furloughed employees for six days in fiscal 2013 to deal with budget pressures under sequestration. It has promised not to furlough employees in 2014.

A conservative calculation by Hale and other Defense officials in October estimated the shutdown wasted $600 million at the Pentagon.

Before Obama nominated him to the position in 2009, Hale served as executive director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC).

From 1994 to 2001, he worked as assistant secretary of the Air Force, managing annual budgets of more than $70 billion.

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