Pentagon Issues Priority List for Summer Furlough Period

June 5, 2013

Defense Department policy employees have received an updated list of priorities for the period this summer when most civilians will be furloughed one day a week.

“Furloughs will cause significant challenges for policy's civilian employees, and for the organization as a whole,” Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller said in June 4 memo obtained by Government Executive. “Reducing policy civilians' hours by 20 percent for up to 11 weeks will have a major effect--it will not and cannot be business as usual.”

The “must-do” list for Pentagon policy office employees ranks topmost “programs and activities that directly support ongoing operations, including DoD response to crises and natural disasters.”

That is followed by assignments from the president or national security council, from the Defense secretary or his deputy and from deputies’ committee meetings. Then comes support for travel and foreign leader engagements by the president, vice president and departmental leaders; major bilateral and multilateral engagements that “cannot be delayed”; work with allies and partners to “mitigate the effect of sequester-driven” service actions; major preapproved initiatives such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and responses to Congress; and required congressional reports.

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