In the news...

August 7, 2013

Savings, reprogramming enable furlough reduction

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Savings and the ability to reprogram funds made possible Aug. 6 announcement by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that unpaid furlough days for about 650,000 civilian employees are being reduced.

Hagel signed a memo cutting furlough days for about 650,000 Defense Department civilian employees from 11 to six. This means that for most employees, the furlough will be over Aug. 17.

Effective immediately, furloughs are over for all DOD Education Activity personnel on 10-month contracts — mostly teachers and support personnel working in the activityís school system – so the 2013 school year will not be affected, officials said.

In a message announcing the reduction, Hagel said that since he announced the 11-day furlough in May, ìCongress has approved most of a large reprogramming request that we submitted, Ö giving us the flexibility to move funds across accounts. The military services have been aggressive in identifying ways to hold down costs, and we have been successful in shifting savings Ö to meet our highest priority needs.

When Hagel reluctantly decided to impose furloughs in May, the department faced an $11 billion shortfall. The department already had imposed a hiring freeze, cut facility maintenance and laid off temporary employees before making the furlough decision.

The cuts severely affected readiness accounts, with Navy ships not sailing, Air Force squadrons not flying and Army and Marine Corps units not training. Readiness of these units was so endangered that leaders determined that furloughs were the best way to find the last $2 billion in savings needed.

But even as [Hagel] made the announcement, the secretary said he would try to reduce the number of days without endangering training and maintenance, a senior defense official, speaking on background, told reporters after the memo was issued.

The savings and reprogramming allowed the department to accomplish two goals, he said. First, there were ìmodest improvementsî in training. The Air Force has been able to return squadrons to flying, and the Army has been able to fund organizational training. Second, the department was able to reduce furlough days.

While this is positive news for the department and for our valued civilian workers, we’re still facing some major challenges,î the senior official said. ìMilitary readiness is degraded heading into 2014. We still need several months and substantial funding to recover. And yet, 2014 is a year that will feature great uncertainty, Ö and it may feature some additional austerity.

The budget for fiscal year 2014 is up in the air.

Secretary Hagel wants to assure our civilian employees that he will do everything possible to avoid imposing furloughs again next year,î the official said.

In his memo, Hagel thanked the civilian workforce ìfor their patience and continued dedication to our mission during these extraordinarily tough times and for their continued service and devotion to our department and our country.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 

Lockheed to settle suit over retirement accounts

Lockheed Martin agreed Dec. 16 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the aerospace and defense behemoth of mismanaging the investment accounts of its employees and retirees, charging the investors high fees along the way. The tentative deal announced in federal court in Illinois’ East St. Louis averted an anticipated four-week trial in the 8-year-old...
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

Headlines December 15, 2014

News: Defense authorization bill heads to White House - Senate lawmakers finalized work on the $584.2 billion annual defense authorization bill Dec .12, putting in place a 1 percent pay raise for troops starting in January and limiting growth in housing allowance rates. Senators make final push for vets suicide-prevention bill - An effort to get a...
 
 

News Briefs December 15, 2014

Official: Afghan insurgents kill two U.S. troops An international military official has told The Associated Press that an insurgent attack on a convoy in eastern Afghanistan has killed two U.S. troops. The official says the attack happened by the Bagram air base in Parwan province near the capital, Kabul, late Dec. 12. The official spoke...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>