By Rachel Ponder, APG NewsMarch 29, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - APG Garrison leadership addressed the workforce on possible furlough actions and more during the quarterly town hall meeting held at the post theater March 26.
Deputy Garrison Commander Glenn Wait said that on March 21 the Department of Defense announced that it would delay notices on civilian furloughs for two weeks to assess the budget impact of legislation approved by Congress. The new target date to issue letters is April 5th. The delay means that furloughs could not begin until about May 6th and that the delayed notification might mean that the furloughed days might be fewer than the 22 days originally anticipated.
"We will not issue letters until we are told to issue letters," Wait said. "We are hoping to have more information from our leaders."
An attendee asked what effect the furloughs might have on security clearances if an individual has debt problems. APG Chief of Security Joe Kaffl said that financial issues are a consideration of security clearances.
Kaffl advised the audience to take a proactive approach with managing their personal finances. He said that employees should take a close look at their finances and if they cannot meet their bills should they be furloughed to cut unnecessary expenses as soon as possible.
Kaffl told the audience that employees who are struggling to meet their debt obligations should contact their creditors and consider seeking out a credible financial management service that might be able to negotiate a reduced payment plan with creditors.
"The worst thing an employee can do is stop paying, or walking away from a debt," he said.
Kaffl said if an employee is facing debt problems and have specific issues they should call him at 410-278-9726 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees who have security clearances or restricted area badges have a requirement to report financial problems to his office if they are garrison employees or their security manager if they work for a tenant organization. (For more information see the article on security clearances in the March 21 edition of APG News, page 7.)
Wait said that if employees have any questions or concerns about furloughs they should talk to their supervisors or call him at 410-278-1505 or e-mail email@example.com.
"We will figure how to get through this together," he said.
APG Garrison Command Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jerry Owens talked to the audience about reevaluating priorities during times of financial difficulty. Owens said that individuals should contact their financial institutions and credible financial advisors for guidance.
Owens added that the Main Post Chapel has limited funds set aside for individuals with children who are struggling to afford to feed their Families.
The Main Post Chapel is also holding on-site information sessions called Operation Comfort, which addresses how to handle a financial crisis and how to maintain sound financial footing through the sequestration. APG organizations can request an information session by calling 410-278-4333.
The next town hall will be advertised on APG News, Channel 97, and APG's social media websites. APG Facebook page,www.facebook.com/APGMd, Twitter, twitter.com/USAGAPG, and the APG website, www.apg.army.mil/.