Secretary of Defense announces start of furloughs

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

After months of uncertainty about how deeply sequestration would impact the DOD workforce, the Secretary of Defense an-nounced last week how furloughs will be implemented.

While most employees will see a reduction in their incomes during the remainder of the current fiscal year, the number of furlough days has been halved from the originally announced 22 to 11.

When sequestration was triggered on March 1, the DOD budget for FY 2013 was reduced by $37 billion — including $20 billion in operation and maintenance accounts.

A memo dated May 14 directs defense managers to prepare for furloughs of up to 11 days. Among the approved exemptions are deployed personnel, select medical personnel, those necessary to protect safety and property, shipyard employees, intelligence employees and those funded through non-appropriated funds.

The schedule for implementation outlines delivery of furlough notices to individual employees May 28 through June 5. Employees then have seven calendar days to reply to notification.

Furlough decision letters are scheduled to be served June 5 through July 5.

The furlough period is set to begin no later than July 8.

Officials close to the process indicate that the originally announced plan for furloughs would have cost the Navy more than it saved, given the demand for overtime in order to continue to provide critical services.

Story First Published: 2013-05-22