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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Army Civilian Furlough Plans: The Memo


Today's breaking news is that Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's Vice Chief of Staff, has issued a memo ordering commanders to plan for furloughs of civilians and contract workers if members of Congress can't iron out their differences on an Iraq spending bill.

"Military manpower, if available at your location, will be authorized to replace civilian and contractor workforce," Cody writes. " Military personnel other than those preparing to deploy should be considered available."

Here's the text of the memo:

-----Original Message-----

From: Cody, Richard A GEN VCSA

Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 7:32 PM




SUBJECT: Contingency Budget Planning

REF A. SecDef Memo, 16 NOV 07, Subj: Contingency Budget Planning

REF B. SecArmy and CSA Memo, 20 NOV 07, Subj. Contingency Budget Planning

REF C. VCSA Email, 26 SEP 07, Subj. Outlook for Funding in FY 2008

1. The FY2008 DoD Appropriations Act did not provide funds for the Global

War on Terror (GWOT) and we do not know at this time when or if the GWOT

funds will be approved by Congress.

2. References A and B directed that we take immediate action to begin

planning to reduce operations at all Army bases. This message provides

instructions for developing these plans. Send your initial plans through

your RM channels. They are due on 4 DEC 2007. Your plans will be reviewed

by a G3-led task force here at HQDA.

3. This is a planning effort, repeat, a planning effort to reduce OMA

funded operations to the minimum mission essential level. Your initial

plans will identify the weekly cost to continue those OMA funded minimum

mission essential activities allowable under Feed and Forage after 23

February 08 and will include the amount of OMA funds available for return to

the Department when all other services and functions are discontinued.

Guidance in reference C stands; take no action at this time to slow any

program. Continue to execute your approved programs and do not implement

any spending restriction or reduction in the scope and pace of operations

until notified. Continue following existing guidance to review civilian

hiring actions and contracts.

4. Include these assumptions in your plans:

a. On or about 22 February 08, all distributed Operation and Maintenance,

Army (OMA) funds will be fully obligated or committed.

b. On 23 February 08, installations and commands will move to a "warm base"

status and all OMA funded activities will cease except those noted in

paragraph 4 below.

c. Civilian furloughs may last more than 30 days and therefore require a 60

day notice.

d. Military manpower, if available at your location, will be authorized to

replace civilian and contractor workforce. Military personnel other than

those preparing to deploy should be considered available.

e. Only direct funded OMA activities are affected. Programs, projects and

activities funded with other than OMA will continue as planned.

5. Your plans should identify the minimum mission essential activities

along with their estimated costs that are permissible by Feed and Forage (if

approved by OSD) and the impact of discontinuing all other services and

functions effective 23 February 08. For these planning purposes, consider

the following as minimum mission essential operations:

a. To protect the life, health and safety of occupants and residents of

Army installations.

b. To protect and maintain assets vital to the national defense.

6. Your plans should also provide a separate estimate of the weekly minimum

essential costs in order to determine what is permissible under Feed and


a. Support forces deployed overseas including Europe, Korea, Japan and

COCOM activities.

b. Prepare forces for deployment to include recruiting, individual training

and unit training.

7. The ASA(FM&C) will provide a reporting format through RM channels. You

should be prepared to report the following information:

a. Life, Health and Safety. Those activities and services and their

estimated weekly cost that must be continued to protect occupants and

residents of Army installations to include military, civilians and Family


b. Training. The amount of OMA funds by week necessary to support training

activities for deploying forces.

c. Quality of Life. Those activities and services for Soldiers and

Families that will be impacted and/or terminated once all existing OMA funds

are fully obligated or committed.

d. Depot Level Reset. To the maximum extent possible, plan to work off FY

07 carry over and new orders received from customers funded with other than

OMA appropriations. Identify the amount of OMA (both base and GWOT) by week

necessary to fund only the organic depot work required to keep production

lines operating and the total amount of OMA Reset funds available for


e. Recruiting: Report the minimum weekly cost to continue to recruit the

force and train the load.

f. Mobilization and Demobilization: Provide the weekly cost to continue

mobilization and demobilization activities to support rotations into and out

of theaters of operation.

g. Field Level Maintenance: Plan to suspend all field level maintenance

except that necessary for life, health or safety or to support the war

fight. Provide the weekly cost for the latter.

8. In the report, you will be asked to break out the activities in

paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 into these categories:

a. Civilian Personnel. Identify the number of minimum mission essential

(Life, Health and Safety) and non-mission essential civilian personnel

funded through direct OMA appropriations. You should anticipate that the

Department will issue furlough notices to civilian employees with sufficient

lead time to implement a furlough on or about 23 February 08. For foreign

national personnel, provide the equivalent of furlough procedures under the

respective Status of Forces Agreement. Identify the weekly payroll cost of

mission essential civilian personnel. Furlough dates will be provided for

US Civilian personnel by G1.

b. Contracts. Identify the total amount of OMA funds needed for minimum

mission essential contracts. Also identify the amounts that can be returned

to the Department when all other services and functions are terminated or

suspended on or about 23 February 08. Factor in termination costs before

reporting the amount available for return.

9. DoD is considering the use of other authorities, Feed and Forage for

example, to continue essential operations as directed. The ASA(FM&C) will

issue instructions on these special funding authorities. The G1 will

provide additional guidance on civilian furloughs.

10. POCs are:

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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