FBI could furlough employees and shut down offices for 10 weekdays if sequester continues
FBI officials are hinting that the agency might furlough employees for more than 10 weekdays and shut down its offices on those dates if the government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester continue through the next fiscal year.Such a plan would affect FBI personnel more than the agency’s current sequester measures, which do not involve unpaid leave. It would also impact investigations and intelligence gathering, as only essential employees would remain on the job during furlough days.The first dates for unpaid leave would likely occur around Thanksgiving and Christmas, taking place on days that workers typically use vacation time, according to an official who spoke anonymously to discuss plans that are still fluid.
FBI hinting at 10-day shutdown if sequester continues
The FBI’s sequester reductions for fiscal 2013 included cutbacks in hiring, training and equipment purchases. Although furloughs during the next cycle would affect investigations and intelligence gathering, they would not prevent the agency from responding to serious incidents such as a terrorist event, the official said.Last week, newly placed FBI director James Comey expressed concern that furloughing employees under a continued sequester would impact agency operations. “I can’t imagine that if we have charged people with protecting their fellow citizens that it makes sense to send them home and tell them you can’t work for two weeks without pay,” he said at a news conference.