The Office of Personnel Management has released revised guidance for federal employees and agencies on administrative furloughs.
What is an “Administrative Furlough?”
OPM defines an administrative furlough as, “a planned event by an agency which is designed to absorb reductions necessitated by downsizing, reduced funding, lack of work, or any budget situation other than a lapse in appropriations.”
OPM also adds, “Furloughs that would potentially result from sequestration would generally be considered administrative furloughs.”
Guidance for Administrative Furloughs
OPM provides guidance on these types of furloughs for agencies and employees. It was last updated in June of 2013, which, at the time of this writing, the website still shows as the updated date for the guidance even though the document itself has a date on it of March 2017.
The guidance goes into great detail on questions such as what employees are covered by administrative furloughs, how federal employees will be notified about an administrative furlough, and how employees’ pay is impacted by an administrative furlough.
Timing of OPM’s Guidance
The updated guidance likely comes after the recent announcement of the Trump administration’s budget which proposes cuts for a number of federal agencies.
While the full budget blueprint won’t be released until May and it ultimately has to be approved by Congress, the budget clearly sets the new administration’s priorities with respect to federal agencies, and OPM is apparently preparing agencies for the possibility of administrative furloughs in the near future.