The Office of Personnel Management doesn’t have plans to furlough employees right now because of the automatic governmentwide spending cuts, according to an agency spokesman.
OPM is confident it will meet the sequester’s required budget cuts through operational and administrative cost reductions, as well as a hiring freeze, the official said. The agency implemented a hiring freeze last year in preparation for a possible sequester. “We don’t have any furloughs planned at this time,” the spokesman said.
Many agencies have said they will be able to make the necessary spending cuts without placing employees on unpaid leave. Among them: the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Government Accountability Office, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Small Business Administration and Smithsonian.
Still, hundreds of thousands of federal employees governmentwide face up to 22 furlough days across the rest of the fiscal year. Defense Comptroller Robert Hale said earlier this week that furloughs of civilian employees could begin as soon as April 26.
Some furloughs could start before April 26. The Justice Department sent furlough notices on Feb. 20 to assistant U.S. attorneys that said furloughs would begin April 21 and would continue through Sept. 30. Agencies have to give employees 30 days’ notice before a furlough.
OPM has issued guidance on the furlough process for employees and agencies.