Federal Employment:

The Results to Date of the Fiscal Year 1994 Buyouts at Non-Defense Agencies

T-GGD-94-214: Published: Sep 22, 1994. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed non-Department of Defense agencies' use of buyouts to reduce the federal workforce, focusing on: (1) whether these buyouts help mitigate reductions in force (RIF); (2) buyouts' costs and potential savings; (3) whether the buyouts affect the agencies' ability to accomplish their missions; (4) whether contractors are used to backfill vacancies created by buyouts; and (5) how buyouts relate to the National Performance Review's (NPR) goal of reinventing government. GAO noted that: (1) the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act allows agencies to pay employees up to $25,000 to voluntarily leave federal service; (2) buyouts help agencies meet NPR downsizing and reinvention goals without relying on RIF; (3) agencies have reported that the buyouts were successful in helping agencies avoid RIF in fiscal year (FY) 1994 and RIF will be unlikely in FY 1995; (4) savings resulting from the buyouts could total nearly $642 million in FY 1995; (5) most agencies believe that buyouts have no effect on their ability to carry out their missions; (6) contractors are not used to backfill vacancies resulting from buyouts; (7) some agencies have not developed detailed plans or implemented the management reforms and restructuring initiatives needed to achieve NPR reinvention goals; and (8) agencies that do adequately plan their downsizing could suffer skills imbalances and be forced to replace bought out employees.

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