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ExecutiveGov Tabulates Federal Agency Furloughs Under Sequestration

ExecutiveGov logoFederal agencies had many decisions to make during the first fiscal year of automatic across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration, which could continue for the next decade barring action from Congress.

ExecutiveGov, Executive Mosaic‘s website for and about federal government leaders, has focused much of its coverage on how agencies have sought to meet the required amounts to cut under the sequester for fiscal year 2013.

Many agencies have made the choice to put their civilian workers on unpaid leave for certain days and some have been able to gradually reduce their numbers of furlough days as they find alternative savings methods.

The Defense Department, a significant customer for many GovCon firms and which BBC News has called the world’s largest employer, originally intended to furlough its civilian workers for 22 days, then reduced that number to 14 in March after Congress added $10 billion into the Pentagon’s operations and maintenance budget.

Secretary Chuck Hagel pegged the number of furlough days at 11 in May and said they would start July 8.

Hagel brought more good news for DoD civilians earlier this month by announcing the number of unpaid leave days would go down to six after Congress approved a Pentagon reprogramming request.

The Internal Revenue Service offered a stark contrast for its employees by deciding in April to completely shutter operations for five days, later reducing that number to three.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development also decided to fully shut down operations under the sequester and scheduled seven furlough days for all workers.

HUD cancelled two of those days earlier this month under an agreement with a labor union representing many federal workers.

On the other hand, some government agencies did not go down the furlough route for their employees, including the entire intelligence community.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in February he would do everything he could to avoid placing IC workers on unpaid leave, then announced in May that no furloughs would occur.

Intelligence agencies will still have to prioritize their missions under the sequester, Clapper said.

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