(Ross D. Franklin/AP) (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue official notice on Thursday of plans to furlough employees for up to 14 days, according to internal communications from the agency.

Federal agencies are required to provide a 30-day notice of furloughs before implementing unpaid leave.

Customs and Border Protection Deputy Director David V. Aguilar warned personnel about the pending notices on Tuesday, saying in a memo that the agency would implement “only the absolute minimum number of furlough days required” and ensure that  “all CBP employees serve the same amount of furlough time.”

Aguilar added that “your managers and supervisors will begin issuing the appropriate notices on March 7, 2013.”

U.S. Border Patrol, a division of Customs and Border Protection, plans to furlough its employees up to 14 days, according to a March 1 memo from the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector chief, Scott A. Luck.

Other cost-saving measures for Customs and Border Protection will include reducing overtime and implementing a hiring freeze, according to the Aguilar memo.

Border Patrol will reduce overtime and halt hiring in compliance with those plans, in addition to canceling all non-mandatory training, reducing vehicle use and ending incentive payments for retention, recruitment and relocation, according to the Luck memo.

The government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester, which  took effect last Friday, require Customs and Border Protection to trim its budget by about $750 million, according to the agency.

Some of the first tangible effects of the sequester appear to be showing up in government functions handled by Customs and Border Protection.

Customs officials said Tuesday that cutbacks in overtime have led to longer waits at some international airports and slower cargo inspections at seaport docks.


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