PSNS & IMF —
I decided to use this Commander’s Corner to talk to you about what this budget issue you are seeing and hearing about means to us and how it may or may not affect you. I want to start by telling you that the information I am providing is up to date as of the day I am writing it. Decisions can and probably will be made after this leaves my desk by Department of Defense and Navy leadership, but I at least wanted to try and get some info out to you so that you have an understanding of what we are doing.
There are essentially two issues that have come together: Continuing Resolution and Sequestration.
· A Continuing Resolution (CR) occurs when a budget is not passed and the government is capped with last year’s budgeted amount. We are under a CR now and this will lapse on 27 Mar. It is possible Congress will pass an FY13 budget; it is also possible that the CR will be extended through rest of FY13.
· Sequestration describes automatic cuts that will occur when the budget cuts outlined in the fiscal cliff deal are scheduled to go into effect 1 March if not resolved by Congress. If this occurs then the following goes into effect:
o DoD must reduce about $52B in the final 7 months of FY13
o Navy must reduce by about $9.6B
o PSNS & IMF would need to reduce by about $90M (~6% of budget)
Due to the uncertainty of what will happen in Washington, D.C., we were asked to study how we could reduce spending to take cuts of $90 million. We received data calls from both NAVSEA and PACFLT last week as part of the Sequestration and Continuing Resolution discussion. This information was passed to Navy leadership 25 Jan.
Since we are uncertain of the outcome, we have been directed to take prudent actions now to minimize potential impact to jobs and potential financial impact to the work force by slowing the rate of expenditures. In order to reduce the spending, Navy has implemented these actions:
· Immediate Hiring Freeze (external and internal).
o Does not affect withingrade increases (WGI’s) or career ladder promotions for both GS and WG workers at this time
o We had planned to make about 600 job offers to external hires for FY13 the week of January 14th but the hiring freeze has stopped that for now. We hope to be able to hire these employees because they are needed to execute our work later this year.
o We also postponed our Career Fair because of the uncertainty in future hiring. We hope to still have the Career Fair.
o People hired who had a date to report for duty will still come aboard.
o EFFECTIVELY THERE ARE NO HR ACTIONS ALLOWED THAT HAVE NOT ALREADY TAKEN PLACE until such time as a list of exceptions has been approved by Navy leadership. We expect the hiring freeze to be lifted but we will not have the full range of hiring authority we had before the freeze.
· Gov’t sponsored conferences are postponed.
· We have reduced/minimized non-mission essential and overhead travel and training
o Direct travel will be reviewed to ensure it is mission essential to the near term mission
· We are using our normal processes to focus on critical path work and only use OT on those jobs.
o We are working with our Union partners to stop all OVERHEAD OT
o We are not going to use COMP TIME in lieu of OT as this also creates a bill
o Rate of direct OT will be reduced to support mission essential critical path work.
· We have additional reviews and controls on any new contract obligation
· Personnel strategy
o We have been ordered to release our temporary personnel. Of note, we only have 15 temp workers at PSNS & IMF. Most are student trainees who only work during the summer.
o We have a large number of Term and Permanent employees on a seasonal work schedule. We do not have guidance on any actions affecting these workers at this point in time. They are an integral part of our Production work force so their release will affect our ability to do our work.
o There are no RIFs, SIPs or Early outs planned or anticipated.
o Furloughs are tied to SEQUESTRATION. If implemented – direction will come from the White House and furloughs will be centrally managed by DoD. The notional plan under discussion at the DoD level would be 1-day/week for 22 weeks starting in mid-April. Essentially 22 days per person
o If we must Furlough, I am uncertain of how this will affect all of you. I expect we will still be required to have some people work every day for safety of ship or for particular safety of plant work but cannot tell you what that is now as I don’t know. We continue to do what we can to avoid the furlough.
Our mission here is to maintain, modernize and recycle the Fleet. If a furlough is ordered, there will be an impact to that mission. Some of the impacts would be:
· Ship availability schedules will likely be affected, but specifics are unknown at this time
· Contractor support provided through funded service contracts will continue
o Appropriated funds have already been obligated for this work
o Contractors here now would continue as planned, unless there is a future decision to defer work
o Future contract obligations are being evaluated and are tied to schedule of avails
I hope this helps. It is impossible for me to get you info faster than the mainstream media gets it out. I cannot keep pace with the amount of information that is flooding the world wide web. You may very well see memos and statements from Senior Navy Officials before I do. I want you to know that I and my staff (your department heads) are working very hard at understanding the landscape ahead and working and communicating the issues as they come up. I will be forthcoming with information that I receive from my bosses at NAVSEA and the Fleet.
I need you to focus on the job at hand. None of us, not you, me, or your family, want you to get hurt because your mind was wondering what would happen back in DC that will affect us here. The workload we have from now and into the very distant future is steady, and the Navy needs it to be accomplished. We will get through this together.
I will continue to post as often as I get changing news. I hope this helped in some way.
Thank you very much and remember this may be yet another challenge this command can rise to and meet face on. We will move on from this with a renewed sense that we are heading in the right direction with what we are doing to be even better at delivering our products. Keep your heads up!
Be SAFE, Be ENGAGING and BE part of HISTORY.
Captain Steve Williamson
Commander, PSNS & IMF