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No Hiring Freeze; DoD Reviews Workforce Requirements

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2001 – The Defense Department is not in the midst of a hiring freeze, but it is reviewing its civilian workforce requirements and hiring procedures as part of President Bush's pledge to make government more efficient.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a Feb. 9 memorandum that addressed a Jan. 20 White House memo from Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. that outlines a presidential initiative to flatten the federal hierarchy.

Rumsfeld's memo directs senior DoD managers to "establish procedures to review and approve hiring decisions" and says they may "appoint, promote or reassign individuals to positions after determining that doing so is consistent ... with the president's initiative." Certain nonmanagerial positions such as firefighters, police officers, and teachers, may be exempted from review, the memo said.

Additionally, the DoD memo exempts people hired under the Priority Placement Program, which is used to offer jobs to employees displaced by base closures and other downsizing actions.

The DoD memo set a March 1 deadline for component heads to submit their hiring review procedures and excepted positions to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy.

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