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Have You Reached the Sequestration Boiling Point? How's Your Agency Preparing?

Someone just shared an email that they received from their agency with the title "Preparations for a Potential Sequestration on March 1."

I also just received an anonymous email that said, "Why aren't there any discussions about the elephant in room at DoD?  As a DoD employee,  many I know are in a dither about the impending furlough."

So it seems that things may be reaching a boiling point in your agencies and I wanted to give you a forum to talk about it with each other:

Are you becoming more and more concerned that sequestration is inevitable?

How / Is your agency preparing for it?

Are they telling you?

As always, if you wish to respond anonymously, please send your response to with the subject line "Sequestration."

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From what I understand, the AF, Army and Navy have plans in place and employees have been notified of possible furlough days.  Uncle Sams Misguided Children, however have not heard a word.  I just wish they would go ahead and tell us which days (hoping for Monday or Friday because it makes sense) and be done with it. I would go a step further and just state, shut the buildings down too along with the hangers, dry docks and vehicle fleets in DoD.  In reading several gov news websites, I get the feeling people have reached their boiling point and would like DoD to get off the pot or P.  Added to that, the hiring freeze is "back on".  Retirement filings hit a high in January.  So people are leaving.  No word (rumors...if ya hear one, start one, lol) on buyouts.  I guess people aren't going for the 25K that was given out back in the early 90's....with inflation and all, people with less than 5 yrs are staying put.  Thank you Andrew for painting up the elephant so others in gov can see everything isn't coming up roses.  Oh, and no one dares to mention TAD, training or conferences without getting a hairy eyeball look.  Conferences are now way in the back of the stove and the burner is off.  

What I find curious about the cuts (and saving initiatives in general) is they always focus on short term benefit without any real strategy for long term savings. An example instituting the hiring freeze. There is a short term benefit in saving some money, but hurts in the long run since folks need to pick up extra work and cannot focus on how to do their job better or make the agency better. This loses money in the long run. If the larger DoD was really focused on saving money it woulf fundamentally revamp how it conducts it business rather than enforcing short term cuts.

I've heard DHS has plans in place & I'm guessing most agencies do.

Yep. Would love to know if those memos have any specifics or just super general.

It's looking more and more likely that it will happen. My agency hasn't said much-they finally sent a generic e-mail at 430PM today. All it said was that they are trying to minimize the impact on core missions.We're already under a 2-year old hiring freeze, and additional responsibilities keep getting piled on us. With fewer and fewer people to do more and more work, the impact of sequestration will be devastating.  NTEU has provided much more timely and detailed updates, as usual.

Can you share more from NTEU? Seems like a model for others to follow....

Being in Local Gov, we have been dealing with this for 4-5 years. With a hiring freeze and furloughs its difficult. I feel for you Federal folks. This is a big challenge. The one tip I can offer, is to prioritize what you need to do...the rest will just take a little longer to do...Being in IT, we have had to accomplish doing more with less for years. Use Technology and work can adapt and overcome!

Good encouragement, Bill. Thank you.

There have been DoD level memos published in early January giving high level plans for implementing sequestration. While the memo does not give specific details for the sequestration, it does provide all branches with direction on where to prioritize cuts. There have also been associated service level and associated unit memos published which give more details. If you cannot find them, try to locate your base's main publication website. If not there, contact the Exec for the base. There should be some place they are stored. I hope this helps.

Are the areas of priority public knowledge, Steven? I have not been following that closely. Curious to get some sense of what might be prioritized in other agencies as well.

I cannot say if the memos are public knowledge, but I do not remember seeing any markings on the memo saying otherwise.  From what I can remember (I unfortunately do not have the memo with me now), the DoD is restricting travel, instituting a hiring freeze, planning for civilian furloughs, and doing what we can to slow burn rates on acquisition programs.  Other than that, there have not been a lot of specifics released, which adds to the frustration on my part.  But, to be fair, there is not a lot of specifics the DoD level can levy.  So it is up to the units to find places to save money if the sequestration hits.

I think this is the core detail:

"restricting travel, instituting a hiring freeze, planning for civilian furloughs, and doing what we can to slow burn rates on acquisition programs."

... and suspect that's pretty common among sequestration planning.


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