The Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to start planning for several types of personnel actions, including furloughs and hiring freezes, if cuts under sequestration start on March 1.
Federal Times reports Jeff Zients, acting OMB director, said in a memo that hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be furloughed if the sequester kicks in and agencies could have to cut contract employees as well.
Agencies are also to review grants and contracts and consider reprogramming funds to reduce risk, Zients said, according to Federal Times.
Sean Reilly writes Zients also directed agencies to consider hiring freezes, buyouts and early retirements as avenues to meet the reductions required from sequestration.
The cuts would total $85 billion by September, the end of the current fiscal year, according to the report.