Defense Expected to Cut Furlough Days to 11

Defense Department file photo

Update: Defense Secretary Hagel detailed the new furlough plan on Tuesday. See our story here.  

The Defense Department is likely to cut the number of civilian furlough days from 14 to 11, and will probably add additional exceptions for certain classes of workers, according to an Associated Press report.

The services are set to be granted exceptions for civilians working at shipyards and depots, because of concerns that those furloughs would be detrimental for long-term modernization and readiness efforts, according to the report. Defense officials told the AP that timing and notification period requirements will make it difficult to fit in more than 12 furlough days by the end of the fiscal year. An official told the AP that some Defense managers wanted to further cut the number of furlough days to nine.

No final decision has officially been announced, though that could come as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Defense civilians were originally expected to take 22 furlough days, but that number was reduced to 14 after the stopgap fiscal 2013 funding act shifted $10 billion into the military’s operations and maintenance budget. According to the AP, Congress cleared Defense to reprogram $7.5 billion to help cover shortfalls caused by higher operating tempos in Afghanistan. The Army is likely to get the vast majority -- nearly $5 billion -- of the transferred money to help cover equipment transportation out of Afghanistan, according to the AP.

Still, Bloomberg News reported that nearly 650,000 of the Pentagon’s 800,000 civilians are set to face unpaid furlough days this summer. 

The furlough news comes ahead of a town hall meeting that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is having with Washington Headquarters Services staff Tuesday afternoon. Hagel, along with other Defense officials, originally wanted to take a consistent, departmentwide approach with civilian furloughs.  However, some reports have indicated that Hagel has been pushing Defense officials to find ways to help reduce the number of furloughs required for civilian employees. 

The news is likely to get some pushback from Capitol Hill. In a tweet sent out on Tuesday morning, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said Hagel was “ignoring billions in waste at [the] Pentagon, while continuing to implement furloughs.” 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.