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NARFE Statement on President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze
January 23, 2017

In response to President Trump’s announced federal employee hiring freeze, Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), issued the following statement:

“A federal hiring freeze may be a good talking point, but it is a bad policy that relies on an inaccurate assumption. It implies the federal workforce is growing, when, in reality, it has shrunk by nearly 10 percent since 1967.

"More importantly, it would undermine the efficiency of government operations by creating hiring backlogs and inadequate staffing levels, and it is unlikely to save any money. Under a hiring freeze, work now performed by federal employees is likely to be outsourced to contractors at an even higher cost to taxpayers. That’s exactly what happened during the hiring freezes initiated by the Carter and Reagan administrations, according to a 1982 audit report on the policies by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO found that those hiring freezes provided only an ‘illusion of control’ over federal workforce levels, and that they were ‘not an effective means of controlling federal employment.’

"Additionally, this policy would have a negative impact on the recruitment and retention of a highly qualified workforce. It explicitly would prevent the government from hiring anyone, including the best and the brightest candidates for public service. It also would create dysfunction within the workforce and overload existing employees, hindering the government's ability to retain talented workers.”

A copy of the executive order can be found here.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association)
606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

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