Fewer Furlough Days Expected for DOD Civilians

Defense Department civilian employees now face up to 14 days of furloughs by the end of the fiscal year due to budget sequestration and not up to 22 days as originally thought, said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday. “We are going to be able to reduce and delay these furloughs, but not eliminate furloughs,” Hagel told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. Still, he said, “this is good news.” The change resulted from a revised estimate of the shortfall DOD faces for the remainder of Fiscal 2013 under the sequester. Originally pegged at $46 billion, DOD’s projected spending cuts now stand at $41 billion, said Hagel. Following Hagel’s briefing, a senior Pentagon official told reporters that the furloughs would not start until mid-June—vice late April, as originally thought—with furlough notices set to go out in early May. The furloughs would happen over seven two-week pay periods, with employees likely told not to come to work for two days during each of those pay periods, said the official. DOD officials are still working to determine which employees would be exempt. (Hagel-Dempsey transcript) (Includes AFPS report by Nick Simeone)