No furloughs expected at GAO, officials say

GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro ruled out layoffs in October, but at that time furloughs were still under consideration. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The Government Accountability Office does not expect to furlough employees anytime soon, according to the agency.

GAO spokesman Chuck Young said Friday there are no furloughs coming down the pike. "Given the budget numbers we have now and the millions of dollars in extensive cuts across the agency that we have already implemented this year, we currently do not expect furloughs," Young said. "But that will of course ultimately be dependent upon any other overall budget actions Congress may take this year."

Last fall, the agency announced that it was weighing a range of options to confront major cuts to its fiscal 2012 budget. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro ruled out layoffs in October, but at that time furloughs were still under consideration. GAO offered dozens of buyouts and early retirement packages to eligible employees at the tail end of fiscal 2011.

Ron La Due Lake, president of GAO's Employees Organization, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 1921, confirmed Young's statement. "As far as we know, there are no furloughs planned," La Due Lake said Friday. "We're hoping that furloughs won't be required." On Feb. 8, hundreds of administrative and professional employees at the agency will vote on whether to join IFPTE. The union has represented about 2,000 GAO analysts since 2007.

GAO's fiscal 2012 budget is 6.4 percent less than it was in fiscal 2011 -- a decrease of about $35 million. La Due Lake said the union and the agency had a "very robust discussion" about alternative ways to save money, including trimming travel budgets and reducing some bonuses, which GAO has incorporated. Regarding fiscal 2013, La Due Lake said labor and management are talking about reducing costs associated with field office leases by expanding telework for employees. The union's goal moving forward is to "get squared away for 2013 with an eye on preserving our jobs and doing our mission for the U.S. Congress," he said.

A November 2011 report from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., decried the cuts to GAO's budget, particularly at a time when lawmakers have failed to reach consensus on several policy issues, including deficit reduction.

"There is no question every government program and agency, including GAO, must be thoroughly examined for savings to address our unprecedented fiscal challenges," the report stated. "The irony is that Congress needs GAO's assistance now more than ever. If the mission of GAO is compromised by excessive cuts, where else can Congress turn to find unbiased data to improve programs and save money?"

According to Coburn's report, the government watchdog has produced an average of more than 1,000 oversight reports annually for Congress since 2000.

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.