The upcoming government furloughs will put many hard-working employees out of work. In his letter to OPM director John Berry, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposes to eliminate employees that aren’t doing jobs necessary to their agency’s mission. This would cut out any employees who are considered AWOL, non-mission critical, on standby, or are waiting for their security clearances. From 2001 to 2007, the employees that were AWOL from 18 agencies, missed 19.6 million hours. Employees who perform work unrelated to their agencies missions accounted for $155 million for their 3.4 million hours of work. Coburn also wrote that some 1,800 employees on standby received about $13 million between 2010 and 2011. On top of all this, around 20% of government contractors received a salary while they were waiting for their security clearances. These contractors could cost the government as much as $1.8 billion a month, while they were not doing the work stated in their contracts. Coburn believes that if these areas are focused on for the job cuts, then the employees performing critical jobs will be protected.
Coburn’s strategy is very logical. His best points are the ones related to the employees that are not doing any work. Eliminating the employees on standby or those on salary who aren’t performing the work designated in their contract would be ideal. Coburn makes an important proposition, but it may be difficult to execute. Cutting out employees that aren’t doing mission critical duties is not as straightforward as it sounds, because they provide support for those performing these critical duties. Only time will tell whether or not these job cuts will happen in the near future.
About Kevin Lancaster
Kevin Lancaster leads Winvale’s corporate growth strategies in both the commercial and government markets. He develops and drives solutions to meet Winvale’s business goals while enabling an operating model to help staff identify and respond to emerging trends that affect both Winvale and the clients it serves. He is integrally involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s operations and workforce, leading efforts to improve productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
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