DOD Civilians Face More Furloughs

The Defense Department would have to furlough up to 400,000 civilian employees—about half of its civilian workforce—if Congress does not pass a budget continuing resolution to keep the federal government running when the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, said Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale. Those furloughs would be “one more blow to the morale of our civilian workforce,” whose morale is already low, he told Pentagon reporters on Sept. 27. Earlier this year, most DOD civilians had to take six unpaid days of leave due to budget sequestration. Under a lapse in appropriations, civilian employees directly supporting “key military operations,” like the war in Afghanistan, would be exempt from furloughs, said Hale. Beyond the furloughs, having no CR or enacted Fiscal 2014 appropriations legislation would force DOD to disrupt many of its support activities, said Hale. “We wouldn’t be able to do most training, we couldn’t enter into most new contracts, routine maintenance would have to stop,” among the effects, he said. (Hale transcript)