Defense Furlough Days Cut from 11 to 6

3:06 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that the Pentagon is cutting the number of planned furlough days for department civilian employees this year from 11 to six.

Hagel also said that some key squadrons are flying again and the Navy has restarted some deployments that had been on hold because of the mandated budget cuts because of savings that had been achieved elsewhere.
The furlough days had been ordered in May in the wake of mandated budget cuts called sequestration. The department faced shortfalls of more than $30 billion for regular operating costs, Hagel said in a statement.

Hagel said the department was able to make up the shortfall thanks to congressional permission to move funds among accounts, some costs that came in lower than expected and management initiatives. That included lower costs associated with moving gear from Afghanistan.
That saved about $1 billion.

The department "will be able to make up our budgetary shortfall in this fiscal year with fewer furlough days than initially announced," Hagel said.

The civilian furloughs began in July.

Some employees already have taken more than six days. The Pentagon is determine how they will be compensated for the unpaid time off.

Hagel said that the Pentagon still faces fiscal uncertainty next year if Congress does not reverse sequestration.

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