Pentagon Issues Priority List for Summer Furlough Period

Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller Hadi Mizban/AP

Defense Department policy employees have received an updated list of priorities for the period this summer when most civilians will be furloughed one day a week.

“Furloughs will cause significant challenges for policy's civilian employees, and for the organization as a whole,” Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller said in June 4 memo obtained by Government Executive. “Reducing policy civilians' hours by 20 percent for up to 11 weeks will have a major effect--it will not and cannot be business as usual.”

The “must-do” list for Pentagon policy office employees ranks topmost “programs and activities that directly support ongoing operations, including DoD response to crises and natural disasters.”

That is followed by assignments from the president or national security council, from the Defense secretary or his deputy and from deputies’ committee meetings. Then comes support for travel and foreign leader engagements by the president, vice president and departmental leaders; major bilateral and multilateral engagements that “cannot be delayed”; work with allies and partners to “mitigate the effect of sequester-driven” service actions; major preapproved initiatives such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and responses to Congress; and required congressional reports.

“Non-essential work” that should be deferred or eliminated includes such tasks as revising departmental directives and instructions, Miller said. “The Policy-wide requirement for 80 hours of individual development activities per year will be suspended for all personnel during the furlough period.”

Miller reminded staff that they are not authorized to work on furlough days. “This means at your official duty station, at home, or at an alternate site, and includes communicating by BlackBerry,” he said. In addition, managers may not authorize civilian or military staff or contractors to work additional hours to make up for lost furlough time. “Compensatory time may continue at the level prior to furlough; we should not observe a spike from what an employee had been claiming prior to furlough,” Miller said.

The policy office is planning a June 19 town hall to discuss furloughs, which are scheduled to begin on July 8. “We are keenly aware of the effect of furloughs on staff morale,” Miller wrote. “And we know that people may experience financial and personal stress during this period of uncertainty.”

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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