The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is forging ahead with Trump’s plan to begin shrinking its 15,000-employee workforce through buyouts, in the wake of the president’s executive order last month aimed at streamlining government agencies.
To oversee the agency’s workforce reductions, a special task force has been put into place and is staged to go into effect by the end of the fiscal year (September), according to a memo issued by EPA Deputy Administrator Michael Flynn earlier this week.
Flynn reportedly sent the memo to guide regional administrators and other branches of the agency “to begin taking immediate actions on near-term workforce reductions” and to comply with a memo issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget on April 12.
The acting deputy administrator wrote, “…we will begin the steps necessary to initiate an early out/buyout … program” and the goal is “to complete this program by the end of fiscal 2017.”
EPA employs about 15,000 workers, 3,200 of whom are targeted to be cut under Trump’s budget blueprint.
In regards to Trump lifting a government-wide hiring freeze earlier this month, Flynn has announced, “Given [the EPA’s] resource situation, we will continue a freeze on external hiring,” adding that “limited exceptions to this external hiring freeze may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.”
EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said, “Streamlining and reorganizing is good government and important to maximizing taxpayer dollars. This includes looking at developing opportunities for individuals to retire early.”
She stated that the process “mirrors what the Obama administration EPA did about four years ago” in an effort “to ensure that payroll expenses do not overtake funds used for vital programs to protect the environment.”
H/T: Washington Examiner
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