(WASHINGTON)— American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement in response to a memorandum issued by the Office of Management and Budget on planning for sequestration:
OMB has served up a buffet of cuts for agencies to make to the federal workforce in the event that sequestration takes effect beginning March 1. With respect to civilian workers, it seems that everything is on the table: hiring freezes, furloughs, terminating temporary or term employees and encouraging our most seasoned workers to separate or retire.
Yet OMB still hasn't given agencies any useful or explicit guidance for reducing spending on service contracts. According to this latest memo, OMB is still examining contracts, grants and other expenditures to determine where spending reductions might be made.
The Defense Department has already ordered the services and defense agencies to freeze civilian hiring and curtail a range of spending on administrative expenses, and we fully expect other federal agencies to take similar steps. Yet OMB hasn’t ordered any companion cuts on the contractor side of the house, such as a freeze on new service contracts, freezing the exercise of contract options and freezing approval of contract modifications.
Almost everyone wants sequestration to be averted. Anyone with sense agrees that budget cuts of this magnitude will have a detrimental effect on federal programs and services that the American public relies on each and every day. But if these cuts are made, then it is only fair that agencies recognize the significant sacrifices federal employees have already made in the name of deficit reduction, and set their sights elsewhere.