Q: My small government agency lost almost 25 percent of its budget for FY11, and for FY12 it will be cut an additional 25 percent. From now until Sept. 30, they plan on reorganizing, offering VSIP and VERA, cutting back on all contractors and reduce contracts, etc. After all of this, they project that they will be $500,000 to $600,000 short for this year, and they are looking at furloughing everyone for one day each pay period for the last five pay periods of the fiscal year (total five furlough days). My question is, does an agency have the discretion to implement agency-only furloughs? I thought that RIF actions were used to eliminate this possibility?
A: Yes, an agency can furlough any or all of its employees when it doesn’t have the funds needed to pay their salaries. For a complete guide to furloughs, go to www.opm.gov/furlough/faq/#General.