Managing Under the Specter of Sequestration

October 31, 2012

A lot of people don’t really believe a budget sequester will happen. The hope is that, similar to government’s near shutdowns in 2011, Congress and the White House will find a way to avert massive across-the-board spending cuts before they take effect in January 2013. But plenty of federal managers and employees are worried there won’t be a Hollywood ending this time, and as of early fall, leaders weren’t providing much guidance on planning for the budget Armageddon.

There’s been a lot of public hand-wringing over potential cuts to government activities ranging from air traffic control to food safety inspection—and the thousands of federal jobs at stake if the budget ax falls. Office of Management and Budget guidance to agencies, however, has been scant and the official line so far has been: Keep doing what you would normally be doing because sequestration probably isn’t going to happen. 

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