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IWUB Has Been Approved to Resume Operations

September 10, 2021   The Waterways Journal

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Washington, D.C.—Seven months after it was suspended by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB) has been approved to resume operations.


“The department’s boards and committees have been and will continue to be a valuable resource as we defend the nation, succeed through teamwork and take care of our people,” Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman John Kirby said, referring to the IWUB and others approved to resume operations.


“The secretary looks forward to working with many of these bodies personally and expects other department officials to do the same.”

Kirby said the zero-base review ordered by Austin to ensure the committee efforts remained focused on the most pressing strategic priorities and the National Defense Strategy has been completed.


The review of the IWUB was completed before its April 30 deadline.


Still, it was unclear exactly how quickly the IWUB could be back in business or whether any proposed changes came out of the zero-based review.


As a legislated advisory committee, the IWUB cannot be abolished without congressional action, and an effort to revamp it was not expected.


Supporters repeatedly have voiced their confidence in the IWUB and have pushed for its return to active status.


“As these boards get populated, we will again be transparent with you as members are brought back into the board work,” Kirby said.

Attention on Austin’s move, believed to be unprecedented, immediately focused on appointments made in the closing days of the Trump administration.