Sequestration Puts Hiring and Bonuses Under Scrutiny

OMB has told federal agencies to slow down new hiring and apply extra scrutiny to handing out bonuses as a precaution for sequestration cuts.

A memo released by White House Office of Management and Budget controller Danny Werfel advises federal agencies to apply extra scrutiny to hiring new employees and handing out bonuses as a precaution should sequestration cuts take place.

Specifically, the memo advises extra scrutiny be applied to:

  • Hiring new personnel
  • Issuing discretionary monetary awards to employees, which should occur only if legally required until further notice
  • Incurring obligations for new training, conferences, and travel (including agency-paid travel for non-agency personnel)

According to Werfel’s memo, “In light of the reduced budgetary resources available due to sequestration, expending funds on these activities at this time would in many circumstances not be the most effective way to protect agency mission to the extent practicable. Therefore, agency leadership should review processes and controls around these activities, and ensure that these activities are conducted only to the extent they are the most cost-effective way to maintain critical agency mission operations under sequestration.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.