Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Federal furloughs: Chiseled in butter?
Friday - 3/29/2013, 2:00am EDT
Now, maybe he should take pen in hand again, and look at the way the government is dealing with the sequester poison pill cooked up by the White House and happily served up by Congress.
The effect of sequestration — rock-solid, across-the-board cuts in virtually all federal programs — was supposed to be so horrible that nobody in their right mind would let it happen. That was the first mistake.
Just the threat of sequestration, the wise ones felt, would force warring politicians to, finally, agree on things: Like budgets, appropriations, taxes, the debt ceiling and other billion-dollar and trillion-dollar money matters. It was considered unthinkable that it, the it being sequestration, would be allowed to happen. Officials in the very highest places said, repeatedly, it wasn't going to happen.
But the power brokers did nothing and went on vacation. It happened.
So, now, federal agencies must draw up their own sequestration-compliance plans, based on the 158-page guideline supplied by the Office of Management and Budget.
Feds in some agencies already know how long their planned furloughs will be. If they be.
In many cases, workers know the (tentative) number of furlough days planned. Folks at Housing and Urban Development even know the exact dates of the furloughs, which is good for planning purposes if they happen. And that's a big IF. You can check it out by clicking here.
Yesterday's Federal Report was about the fact that agency furlough plans, and numbers, are all over the place. That could be a sign of panic or of good planning. Not all agencies are alike. Some have already made cuts sufficient to spare them from some or any furloughs. Some have intentionally put their worst foot forward warning, via the media, that sequestration would have a bad impact on everything from what you eat, to how you travel and how quickly you get those tornado alerts.
Defense led the way saying right off the bat that it would furlough virtually all of its 780,000 civilians for up to 22 days. That had a lot of people in government standing at attention. People who said it would never happen were dismissed as cock-eyed optimists or cynics who've been in D.C. too long. So what happened? Defense first delayed the dates it said it would issue the furlough notice letters. Then, yesterday, it revised the number of furlough days downward from 22 to 14. Nobody knows exactly why this reality check happened, but some speculate the answer may be in the code letters CHUCKHAGEL.
Furloughs are not funny. Not if you are facing them.
Each furlough day — when/if it happens — will mean a 20 percent pay cut for that week. Also, reduced government contributions to your TSP plan. Furloughs, used as part of a political foodfight, would be an unfair punishment of people who have been under a pay freeze for two-plus years.
Most feds — judging from emails and comments we get — say they would gladly bite the bullet and sacrifice if it is really necessary. Most don't think this is necessary.
So hang in there. It isn't over until its over. And it is definitely not over.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Old Fido may not be lazy; he may have narcolepsy. The ailment, caused by a mutation in the hyprocretin receptor 2 gene, is actually common in dogs, especially among Labrador retrievers, poodles and dachshunds.
(Source: Life's Little Mysteries)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
DoD releases more details on revised furlough timeline
Furlough notices will now be sent to employees in early May. Actual furloughs will begin in mid-to-late June, placing most Defense civilians on unpaid leave roughly one day per week for the final seven pay periods of the fiscal year.
Federal News Radio Engagement Survey
Federal News Radio strives to provide our readers and listeners with the best experience possible every time they visit our website, listen to our radio station, or engage with us via our various social media outlets. Now, it's your turn to tell us what you like and what you'd like to see Federal News Radio do differently. Plus, we're interested in learning more about how you use our various platforms as we continue to improve them. Help Federal News Radio by taking our brief, anonymous survey. (The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.)
Congress urged to drop online financial reporting for senior execs
A new report says a law requiring the online posting of senior federal executives' financial information would likely impinge on employees' privacy and wouldn't do much to deter conflicts of interest.
Obama to release 2014 budget proposal on April 10
Under the law, the President was supposed to submit a budget for 2014 by Feb. 4. White House aides said deliberations over spending and sequestration in the past few months delayed the release of his blueprint.