Federal Employees News Digest

Lawmaker calls for smaller civilian DOD workforce

As part of an effort to create a more efficient civilian workforce at the Defense Department, one lawmaker wants to reduce the size of the agency.

“[W]e we must address the unsustainable growth within the Defense Department bureaucracy which, if left unaddressed, will ultimately compromise our military training, readiness, and superiority,” California Rep. Ken Calvert (R) said in a news release announcing the introduction of the “Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniform and Civilian Employees Act (or the REDUCE Act). The bill calls for the secretary of defense to use voluntary separation and early retirement incentives to reduce its workforce 15% by 2025.

The cuts could contribute to $125 billion over that time period, according to the Defense Business Board.

Under the bill, the DOD workforce would remain at or below the established 15% reduction cap through 2029 and civilian Senior Executive Service career appointees will be reduced to 1,000 employees by 2025 and remain at or below 1,000 employees also through 2029.

The secretary must initiate the involuntary separations by October 2021 if the 15 percent of the workforce does not separate from the agency voluntarily.

“Our fiscal and national security challenges are intertwined, increasing every day and require immediate action by Congress” Calvert said in his statement.

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