They concluded that the recordkeeping would be burdensome. So they have opted to close down most agency operations on seven days between April and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
Don’t look for HUD to open on May 10, May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, August 16 and August 30.
“We have considered providing employees with an opportunity to express their preferences with respect to the scheduling of furlough days,” Karen Newton Cole, HUD’s chief human capital officer, wrote in a recent memo to the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents HUD workers.
“Given the broad scope of sequestration this is not possible,” she wrote. “The Department has over 9,000 employees. Multiplying the number of employees by seven days would mean that there would be 63,000 scheduling decisions that would need to be made over a 6-month period.”
Newton Cole called the prospect “not administratively feasible” and said the “number of possible payroll errors is daunting.”
Other agencies apparently have not found the process as cumbersome and are letting employees choose which unpaid days to take, working out an arrangement with their supervisor.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the same approach during some of its up to 13 planned furlough days. For three, and possibly four, of the days, the agency is planning to add a day off to a holiday weekend around Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, officials said this week.
The EPA will be closed on those days, with the exception of some operations. Employees — about 17,000 are scheduled to be furloughed — will take the rest of the days after working out a schedule with their supervisor.
In a memo to employees this week, Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe wrote that 20 percent of the $425 million the EPA must cut from its budget by Sept. 30 must come from payroll accounts, forcing furloughs.
He said employees will receive 30-day furlough notices next week.