Sequestration

DOD furlough decision made

diagram of work team

DOD's civilian employees now know how many furlough days are coming. (Stock image)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on May 14 announced that his department would be implementing furloughs of 11 days for most civilian employees -- one day a week, starting July 8 and continuing through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

"The Department has been doing everything possible to reduce this shortfall, Hagel wrote in a message to all DOD personnel. "[W]e have cut back sharply on facilities maintenance, worked to shift funds from investment to O&M accounts, and reduced many other important but non-essential programs."

Even so, Hagel said, furloughs are still needed to meet reduced funding levels set by sequestration. "I have made this decision very reluctantly, because I know that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DOD operations," he wrote. "I recognize the significant hardship this places on you and your families."

Resource

Read the official furlough memo.

The furloughs are significantly less severe than the 22 days originally planned. Defense officials first convinced Congress to provide additional budget flexibility, and reduced the projected number of furlough days to 14 before settling on the final number.

Hagel promised to scale back furloughs even further if the budget allows. "If our budgetary situation permits us to end furloughs early, I would strongly prefer to do so," he wrote. "That is a decision I will make later in the year."

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