Hiring freeze hits Air Force's civilian work force

The Air Force has established a force-wide, temporary civilian personnel hiring freeze in anticipation of the growing possibility of sequestration and continuing budgetary shortfalls, the Air Force said Jan. 17.

The decision, which was conveyed in a memorandum from Air Force leadership to senior commanders on Jan. 16, is seen as something that could be reversed, if circumstances dictate.

Civilian pay makes up a large share of the Air Force's operating budget. With budgetary uncertainty and a projected fiscal year 2013 $1.8 billion shortfall in the Air Force funding for overseas contingency operations, the Air Force said it was taking the step to reduce the force's expenditure rate.

The temporary hiring freeze applies to all positions that are open to applicants outside the Air Force for permanent, temporary and term vacancies in all appropriations. Reassignments and promotions within the civilian work force will continue uninterrupted. 

The memo, issued by Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., states that hiring actions already in progress where a selection was made and an entry on duty date already established will continue, and previously arranged EODs might remain.

External hiring actions where a job offer has not been made will be withdrawn; in addition, exemptions from previous hiring controls will not carry over.

The guidance instructs commanders to immediately release temporary employees and not renew term employees.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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