Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
Furloughs go from bluff to reality. What's next?
Tuesday - 4/23/2013, 2:00am EDT
1) Your country is attacked by two (at least) apparent home-grown terrorists. The method they chose: Bombs at the Boston Marathon. That was just over a week ago. The Russian security service reportedly asked the FBI to check them out two years ago. So there is likely more information, maybe more trouble, to come.
2) The leader of a starving what-have-we-got-to-lose country (rhymes with North Korea) apparently has at least one nuclear weapon. He's threatened to attack his neighbors, or maybe Texas!
3) We, as a nation, are spending more than we take in. But politicians can't agree on how to take in more, and from whom.
4) Things in the Middle East — and Central Africa — aren't getting any better.
5) We are borrowing lots of money from the People's Republic of China which, in the past, has wished us less than well. And been known to do some serious hacking.
Answer: Our leaders devised a plan to furlough Defense Department workers, law enforcement personnel and everybody that works for the government's premier revenue-collector, the IRS.
The White House and Congress will remain open for business, which includes getting us out of the mess they created. Why didn't we think of this sooner?
After months of talk about furloughs and sequestration, the games have begun. The question for lots of cash-strapped feds is how long will they go on. How many furlough days (each representing a pay cut) will they get while their political leaders, insulated from sequestration, continue to jockey for position?
Defense has — wisely and carefully, many think — been easing back on the number of days it plans to furlough employees and the start date of those furloughs. It has gone from 22 days for everybody to perhaps as few as seven for most, but not everybody.
The IRS has set five furlough days between May and August, with two more days possible. It will close operations as virtually everyone will be furloughed on the same days except for those involved in systems security and building safety. The IRS plan was designed to minimize the financial hit on employees and was worked out in consultation with the National Treasury Employees Union, which opposes any furloughs.
Some long-time employees think the furloughs have shifted (thanks to the calendar) from the bluffing stage to a stalling operation in hopes that they can be minimized or avoided altogether. Meantime, they are on track, so....
Suppose there is an even more serious (than Boston) event, attack or incident while DoD is semi-closed for business. Earlier, the White House spoke about furloughs of FBI and other federal agents. Is that still on? What happens if something happens? Who gets hit, and in the aftermath, who takes the political hit? Or hits?
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
If you collected all the water on Earth into a single drop, it would be just slightly less than 860 miles across.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Does GS system need an update? Lawmakers ask GAO to review
federal pay scale
A trio of lawmakers from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want the Government Accountability Office to examine whether the General Schedule system for federal employees needs an update.
OMB employees begin furloughs
The White House tells "a majority" of career staff not to come to work. It's the first of 10 furlough days over the next six months. Labor, FAA and EPA also have or are furloughing employees.
Airlines, pilots sue government to
The airline industry and the nation's largest pilots union are suing the FAA over its decision to furlough air traffic controllers in order to achieve spending cuts under sequestration.
Service bailout looms if Congress doesn't act quickly
If Congress doesn't pass comprehensive postal reform legislation soon, it could find itself forced to bail out the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service to the tune of billions of dollars, said Postmaster General Pat Donahoe.