Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs

Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs

A Customs and Border Patrol agent and a security dog keep watch at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas.
A Customs and Border Patrol agent and a security dog keep watch at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas. Eric Gay/AP

Customs and border personnel could become the latest group of federal workers to receive a reprieve from furloughs this fiscal year.

Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Homeland Security Department, asked congressional appropriators for permission on Friday to transfer money within its budget to avoid furloughing employees through Sept. 30 because of sequestration. Lawmakers have 30 days to decide whether to approve the request for what’s known as reprogramming authority.

That means CBP personnel should know their furlough fate for the rest of the fiscal year by about mid-June. Other employees who have escaped unpaid leave in fiscal 2013 include workers at the Federal Aviation Administration, Justice Department and Education Department. Continue reading “Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs”

The Furloughs That Never Came

The Furloughs That Never Came

 Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently said furloughs would be unnecessary at his department, after threatening them in February.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently said furloughs would be unnecessary at his department, after threatening them in February. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

As recently as February, just weeks before sequestration was set to go into effect, nearly every Cabinet-level department had issued warnings of the need to furlough employees in fiscal 2013 due to the across-the-board cuts.

With the fiscal year more than halfway over, however, the number of agencies and department that will in fact require furloughs has dropped dramatically. While some departments, such as Labor and Treasury, have already begun or are moving forward with plans to furlough, the Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Justice and Transportation departments have reversed course.

In cancelling the unpaid leave, agencies have cited a variety of factors, from congressionally approved reprogramming of funds to simply finding the requisite savings elsewhere. Continue reading “The Furloughs That Never Came”

No Furloughs at State

No Furloughs at State

State Department headquarters
State Department headquarters J. Scott Applewhite/AP File Photo

Add the State Department to the growing list of federal agencies that will not furlough any employees.

State will not require its workforce to take unpaid leave in fiscal 2013, the Associated Press has reported. Sequestration’s impact on the agency is less than half of what was originally anticipated, having to cut just $400 million rather than initial estimates of $850 million. Continue reading “No Furloughs at State”

POGO Celebrates Sunshine Week with Expanded Misconduct Database

POGO Project On Government Oversight - Blog

POGO Celebrates Sunshine Week with Expanded Misconduct Database

March 14, 2013

Telecom giant Verizon Communications and health insurer Highmark are among a dozen new entities the Project On Government Oversight added this week to its Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD).

POGO took the fiscal year 2011 data reported on the Federal Procurement Data System and came up with a new ranking of the top 100 federal contractors, which now includes Verizon (#69), Highmark (#93), and ten other of the largest suppliers of goods and services to the federal government. The new top 100 received 55 percent of the $537 billion in federal contracts awarded in FY 2011. Collectively, they have racked up 932 misconduct instances and $41 billion in monetary penalties since 1995. Continue reading “POGO Celebrates Sunshine Week with Expanded Misconduct Database”

Senate Bill Upholds Pay Freeze

Senate Bill Upholds Pay Freeze

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP File Photo

Federal employees will not receive an across-the-board pay increase for 2013 under the Senate bill to keep the government open through the end of the fiscal year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee late Monday night unveiled its continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown after the current funding measure expires on March 27. It includes a provision, also in the House-passed CR, that maintains the current pay freeze for federal employees and lawmakers through Dec. 31, 2013. Continue reading “Senate Bill Upholds Pay Freeze”