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Schumer, Tenney Urge Dept. of Defense to Exempt DFAS Rome from Hiring Freeze

Schumer, Tenney: DFAS is critical in supporting readiness of our military

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Rome, NY, March 14, 2017 | comments

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY) today teamed up to urge the Department of Defense (DoD) to exempt the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and its Rome facility from any government-wide hiring freeze. Schumer and Tenney are requesting the DoD to work closely with DFAS leadership to ensure that the agency’s workforce is maintained and that positions lost due to attrition are not impacted by the freeze.

"DFAS Rome is an anchor for nearly a thousand good-paying jobs in the Mohawk Valley and I will continue to stand in the way of any cuts that would jeopardize the jobs of the men and women of DFAS, who play such a vital role for our armed services,” said Senator Schumer. “It’s been proven time and time again, that DFAS provides efficient and cost-effective financial management for the Department of Defense, which is critical to supporting our military readiness, and it would be an unforgivable mistake if the agency’s workforce is affected by a federal hiring freeze.”

“DFAS is critical in supporting the readiness of our military. In the 22nd District, DFAS Rome is not only a vital employer in our community, but it also plays an important role in executing financial functions that support the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Army. Therefore, ensuring that DFAS is permitted to maintain their workforce will allow the facility to continue to provide the highest level of service to our Armed Forces. We ask that Secretary Mattis and the DoD consider our request to exempt DFAS from the hiring freeze,” said Rep. Tenney.

President Donald Trump’s Executive Order implementing a government-wide hiring freeze went into effect on January 23, 2017. The hiring freeze, however, did provide exemptions for positions deemed necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities. Already, the government has recognized the importance of DFAS workforce by clarifying exemptions for lateral staff movements as well as the Pathways Internship program. 

March 14, 2017

The Honorable James Mattis

Secretary of Defense

Department of Defense

1300 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis,

As strong supporters of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and its Rome, New York facility, we write today to request that employees of the agency who serve the Department of Defense (DoD) and our service members be exempt from the recent government-wide hiring freeze.

The DFAS workforce is responsible for supporting a range of functions critical to our military’s readiness, including the processing of pay and benefits for two million service members and the management of more than $18 billion in accounts receivables. In particular, DFAS Rome primarily serves and supports financial processes that are critical to the day-to-day operations of the Army. To maintain our military’s readiness, it is vital that DFAS positions that support DoD financial functions not be impacted by the hiring freeze.

On January 23, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order implementing a government-wide hiring freeze. Per this order, “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.” The order goes on to state that “the head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.” Since the order was announced, DoD has issued guidance clarifying that lateral movements of staff within DFAS as well as Pathways intern appointments are exempt from the order. However, DFAS is currently unable to fill positions that have been or are set to be lost due to attrition, of which there are several in the agency’s Rome, New York branch.

Each day, DFAS Rome’s impeccable record of financial management and strong history of effective leadership sustain our military’s readiness. The critical role DFAS plays in ensuring transparency and efficiency by standardizing, consolidating, and improving accounting and financial functions throughout DoD make the agency an indispensable partner. In light of this, we respectfully request that you work closely with DFAS leadership to ensure that the agency’s workforce is maintained and that positions lost due to attrition are not impacted by the freeze.    

We thank you in advance for your consideration of this request and look forward to working with you in the years ahead to reaffirm the importance of DFAS’s exemplary workforce.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Representative Claudia Tenney

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