OMB Controller Danny Werfel said bonuses should not be given unless legally required if sequestration goes into effect. (Military Times)
Employees’ bonuses will be another casualty if sequestration goes into effect Friday.
The Office of Management and Budget issued a memo Wednesday broadly outlining how agencies should prepare for the $85 billion in budget cuts that will begin March 1 unless Congress and the White House come to a last-minute agreement averting or delaying sequestration. Until further notice, that memo said, agencies should hand out discretionary cash awards to employees only if they are legally required to.
Agencies should also make sure when they hire new employees or approve spending on training, conferences and travel that those new costs are absolutely necessary.
“Expending funds on these activities at this time would in many circumstances not be the most effective way to protect agency mission to the extent practicable,” said OMB Controller Danny Werfel. “Agency leadership should … ensure that these activities are conducted only to the extent they are the most cost-effective way to maintain critical agency mission operations under sequestration.”
The memo also said agencies should, as soon as possible, identify how many employees they plan to furlough if sequestration takes effect, how long the furloughs would last, when furlough notices would be issued, and how furloughs would take place. Agencies also should identify any major contracts or grants they plan to cancel, reduce or delay.