Sequestration defies rational planning, deputy secretary says

With sequestration looming increasingly large on the horizon, defense and civilian agencies have received little or no guidance on cutting spending and key deadlines, such as the one about notifying employees of impending job cuts, reports FCW, a sister publication of Defense Systems.

At the Defense Department, which would be among the hardest hit by the budget cuts, officials are saying that planning too early or too late could have a devastating effect on national defense, the story said. DOD Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter indicated in congressional testimony presented in August that no specific preparations are under way.

“While we can foresee the harmful impacts of sequester, as I have described, we cannot devise a ‘plan’ that eliminates, or even substantially mitigates them. Sequester defies rational ‘planning.’ It was designed to be irrational,” Carter testified before the House Armed Services Committee. “We are working with [the Office for Management and Budget] to understand this complex legislation, and we are assessing impacts.”

An Aug. 24 report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments indicates that DOD could shed as many as 108,000 civilian jobs in 2013 as a result of sequestration, while defense contractors avoid immediate effects.


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