The hiring freeze imposed by President Donald Trump Monday on federal agencies is short on several details, but one thing is clear: on its face, it is meant to apply to all executive departments and agencies, with the sole exception of “military personnel.”
According to the “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze” released Monday by the White House, the hiring freeze “applies to all executive departments and agencies regardless of the sources of their operational and programmatic funding, excepting military personnel.”
Additionally, the memo, signed by the president, states that “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances. This order does not include or apply to military personnel.”
Trump asks that federal agencies seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery services. “Accordingly, this memorandum does not prohibit making reallocations to meet the highest priority needs and to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and national security is not affected,” Trump states.
The memo also pointedly notes that “contracting outside the Government to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted.”
The memo also orders a long-term plan to be developed by the Office of Management Budget (OMB) within 90 days to reduce the size of the federal government’s workforce through attrition. The plan is to be developed in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Once the plan is implemented, the Monday order “shall expire,” the memo states.