by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : September 30, 2015
September 30, 2015 FCW.COM 13 3. De facto hiring freeze The hiring cycle for college students begins in the fall as major recruiters make the rounds of career fairs to find promising job candidates. Agencies have a harder time competing with companies when their funding is mired in a series of short-term spending bills, Palguta said. By the time an agency gets its full- year funding, “some of the best talent is already taken,” he added. And the problem isn’t just at the entry level. “The whole process of filling jobs becomes more complicated,” Palguta said. Sometimes an agency with a high-level vacancy will issue a job announcement in the hope that by the time applications are screened and interviews are conducted, the money will be available to make a hire. Sometimes, however, “you may have someone you want to hire but you can’t make an offer yet,” Palguta said. The most sought-after candidates aren’t likely to be available for long. “Those are people who have options. They’re not waiting around for Congress to get its act together.” 4. Delayed procurement and training Under a CR, IT upgrades, training and other optional expenditures can often get kicked to the curb. Agencies have already adjusted in some ways to the inevitable funding delays by trying to push spending to later in the fiscal year. “The first quarter is a terrible time to plan conferences and training,” Criscitello said. The constraints also take a toll on acquisition because program managers don’t know how much they’ll end up having to spend for the full year. Delays in training can diminish an agency’s core mission delivery. In one instance noted in the GAO report, a Food and Drug Administration official reported that the agency wasn’t able to meet targets for inspections because of a lack of trained personnel. “The biggest hidden cost is from a management perspective,” Palguta said. “You do not know how much you’re going to be able to spend to manage your organization.” According to the GAO report, agencies have already begun backloading essential annual services contracts into the third and fourth quarters, such as janitorial services and maintenance. But managing contracts is difficult under a CR because of the necessity to perform administrative tasks associated with spending for each short-term measure. 5. The mad dash once funding comes When a real appropriation or full-year CR is in place, activity ramps up, but the frenetic pace to finish agency work on a compressed schedule can result in sub-optimal performance. Acquisition professionals who are juggling a number of procurements “may not have time to negotiate the best deals,” Palguta said. “It increases the odds that both the government and the taxpayer are losing out a bit.” 6. Morale Careering from one short-term CR to the next takes a toll on personnel. “The psychic costs are probably higher than the actual costs,” Criscitello said. The cycle of responding to CRs and then ramping up activity once funding comes through can be dispiriting, and it certainly doesn’t resemble the image of government service that drew employees to federal careers. Moreover, agency employees are personally under the gun to make sure they comply with the limitations in place during a CR. The Antideficiency Act, which governs how federal agencies comply with appropriations, contains criminal penalties for individuals who spend government money that is not properly appropriated and programmed. “I don’t know if anyone has gone to budget jail,” Criscitello joked. Most violations are accidental or technical, but the law looms over any agency employee tasked with implementing spending restraints during a CR. In short, there is no upside. It’s not as though agencies are freed from their obligations to Congress during a CR. All the policy riders, requests for information and reports, and other demands contained in appropriations bills and reports from the previous year carry over during CRs until they are supplanted by new legislation. n “The biggest hidden cost is from a management perspective. You do not know how much you’re going to be able to spend to manage your organization.” JOHN PALGUTA, PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE 0930fcw_012-028.indd 13 9/9/15 10:23 AM
September 15, 2015