Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Defense Department Implements a Hiring Freeze for Civilian Workforce

The Department of Defense (DOD) has instituted a civilian hiring freeze for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Agencies and Field Activities. This freeze applies to both DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency), DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) among many other agencies in the Department.  The freeze affects all vacant full-time, part-time, temporary and permanent civilian positions.

What does this mean for contractors? It can't be good. DCMA contracting officers already have more work than they can reasonably handle. Freezing hiring will only exacerbate the situation. If you don't believe us, put in a call to your administrative contracting officer. Chances are it will go to voice-mail and any message you leave may never get returned.

DCAA is already struggling to meet its workload demands and starting this fiscal year, has had to jettison all of its work for other Federal Agencies until such time as it can become current in its audits of incurred cost. Freezing DCAA hiring will certainly not help reduce the backlog.

DoD is looking for each agency to present it a delayering plan. A lot of people, Senator John McCain being a notable example have made civilian reductions at the pentagon a high priority. Some have suggested that the reductions be commensurate with the draw down of military personnel. The military has seen a seven percent reduction while the civilian side less than half of that at 3.3 percent.

The hiring freeze provides for exemptions for mission critical requirements. DCMA has asked for an exemption but so far, even though still hopeful, has not been granted one.

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