Jan 23, 2017

Trump Implements Government Wide Hiring Freeze

On Monday, January 23, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order implementing a government-wide hiring freeze which will affect all agencies except the “military” and other essential personnel such as public safety and public health. The order gives executive department/agency heads and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management the power to grant exemptions to any position deemed necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.

The last government-wide hiring freeze was more than 35 years ago when President Reagan first took office in 1981. In a 1982 report by the General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) reported that Reagan and President Carter’s hiring freeze policies did not substantially reduce employment or decrease spending. In fact, many agencies used overtime and hired contractors to compensate for shortage of resources. The report also found freezes to be disruptive to agency operations resulting in backlogs in clerical and profession duties as well as reduced quality of work. Hiring freezes have also led to lost revenue, uncollected debts, and other hidden costs.

NAGE National President David J. Holway weighed in, “It is alarming to see President Trump freeze federal hiring right out of the gate. If the President is looking to limit spending, I hope he is aware that often times hiring freezes end up costing the government more money. Millions of people rely on the federal government and the services they provide to the American public, and I hope the President understands that before making these decisions.”

The Executive Order does not revoke any appointment to Federal service made prior to January 22, 2017.  NAGE will update this post as more information becomes available.

Click here to download Hiring Freeze Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget

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