RIFs May be Coming to DoD Next Year if Sequestration Cuts Continue


With billions more in sequestration cuts to meet next year, senior Department of Defense (DoD) officials are suggesting reductions in force may be necessary to meet the strict budget targets.

In a recent webinar organized by the Association of Government Accountants, DoD Comptroller Robert Hale said “reductions-in-force and involuntary separations” may be necessary to avoid a repeat of the widespread furloughs scheduled to take effect next month. In all, an estimated 700,000 Defense workers are scheduled to see 14 furlough days between now and the end of the fiscal year.

“These furloughs are completely unnecessary,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “The money is there to prevent them, but the sequester law won’t allow it. Now we’re talking about laying off permanent employees to meet sequestration cuts next year? This is an outrage. This reckless policy needs to go, and Congress needs to come together and make it happen.”

Though little action has been taken to replace the sequester in the House, Senate Democrats passed an FY14 budget that replaces the sequester through a mix of strategic spending cuts and tax increases. Were some form of this budget approach to be signed into law, involuntary separations may be avoided. A strong indicator of which way elected officials will approach the sequester problem is President Obama’s forthcoming budget, which is scheduled to be released in the coming days.

“We’re calling on President Obama to follow Senate Democrats’ lead and offset the sequester in his budget proposal,” said Dougan. “People’s livelihoods are at stake. We need to erase this policy for good.”