Quote of the week
“…we’re going to do our best to make sure that our agencies have the support they need to try to make some very difficult decisions…”
— President Obama
Federal public servants south of the border are, of course, concerned about the impact of the sequestration fiasco on the public service and their lives.
Citizens have been warned to expect slower service as government cutbacks occur. The Department of Justice has already issued a furlough notice, where full time employees will work every second day from April 21 to September 30.
The President has played down the impact on federal public servants. He said the government will ”manage through” the sequester impacts, adding that he would “rely on the outstanding leadership” of the federal agencies to do what they had to do.
But other politicians have leapt into the fray with their recommendations for getting the job done. Republican House of Representative Darrell Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
He sent a letter to federal agencies suggesting they pursue “a targeted list of programmatic spending reductions that would be more beneficial to the American people (rather) than across-the-board sequestration; and, a list of programs no longer necessary to meet the goals of the agency.”
Another Republican, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, has drafted a 2013 Sequester Replacement and Spending Reduction Act that would put the burden of cost reduction firmly on public servant backs.
Instead of federal government cutbacks, she would extend the federal pay freeze through 2014 and increase current employees’ pension contributions by 2.3 percent over three years.
This is a sad way of going about government transformation. Change is needed. But what a shame to use the sequestration sword of Damocles rather than pursuing a reasoned and informed approach to public sector organizational transformation.