ExecutiveGov Keeps Watch On Pentagon Sequestration Prep

EM-Logo_ExecutiveBizAll federal agencies are eyeing a March 1 deadline, when automatic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration are set to kick in.

Barring a deal on Capitol Hill, nearly $85 billion will be cut from both defense and nondefense accounts for the remainder of fiscal year 2013.

ExecutiveGov has kept its own eye on how the government has prepared for the sequester by highlighting comments from public sector leaders on both its effects and actions intended to help handle the cuts.

One agency in particular, the Defense Department, has been preparing for potential effects in several facets that could impact the civilian workforce, the industrial base and the uniformed armed forces.

Nearly all of the 800,000 full-time workers could be placed on unpaid leave for one day per week in the fiscal year’s last 22 weeks if the cuts come down.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notified Congress of those plans as required under a law that puts in place a 45-day process prior to any furloughs.

Robert Hale, the Pentagon’s comptroller and chief financial officer, said the department would likely not award either contract options or new contracts if the sequester kicks in.

Current contracts would remain in place and contractors should receive their payments on schedule, he said.

Four of the country’s top uniformed military officers testified before a Senate panel in mid-February on how they believed the sequester would impact their individual service branches.

Lawmakers heard testimony on potential loss of service personnel, cuts to flight and maintenance operations and furloughs of civilian workers.

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