As a result of the perfect storm created by the budget crisis, Continuing Resolutions, Sequestration, Troop withdrawals and Defense spending cuts the Defense Department announced earlier this year that they would begin furloughs for civilian contractors as well as many DoD personnel. As you may recall from my previous blogs, Ashton Carter indicated on January 10th that furloughs of up to 45 days during FY 2013 might be possible. Robert Hale indicated in a speech on February 10th that the DoD had no choice but to exercise furloughs. He also indicated that by law the government needed to provide written notice of furlough plans at least 45 days in advance for civilians and 30 days in advance for government employees. Under Secretary Hale indicated that furloughs could begin as early as April 1st for government employees. I do know that as of 2 weeks ago when I talked to an Air Force official that the official written notification had not yet been sent out. I talked last week with a DCAA employee who also confirmed that they had not yet received written notification.
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Sequestration is now a reality. OK, a 5 to 10% cut across the board and no big deal, right? Who hasn't had to deal with a 10% cut in business and managed to make the adjustment? If that was all that was asked, I don't think there would be this much complaining. The real issue is the compounding of several events. It started in 2010 when the Defense Department announced they would trim $100 Billion from their budget over the next 5 years. Then came the Budget Control Act in 2011 that required the Defense budget be cut by $487 Billion over the next 10 years. Add to that the recent pressure to reduce the budget for 2013 and 7-10% Sequestration cuts across the board. Not to mention the continuing resolution, which is still looming, that threatens to reduce the 2013 proposed budget further. I just saw today where congress is considering a plan to reduce the effects of sequestration by replacing it with a "more responsible" spending cut plan that could soften the blow in the DOD.