The automatic budget cuts known as sequestration will have the “net effect” of cutting 2,285 FBI employees, including 775 agents, FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a letter to a key senator last month.
The letter to Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), obtained by the Huffington Post, said the effective cuts would come through furloughs and a hiring freeze. “By the end of the fiscal year, this translates to approximately 7,000 FBI employees not working each day,” Mueller wrote. Individual employees will see a 12 percent pay cut between May to September, he wrote.
While the true effect of the automatic budget cuts that went into effect on March 1 are yet to be determined – Congress may end up granting agencies more authority to move around funds to priority areas – Mueller in his Feb. 1 letter emphasized the peril to high-profile initiatives to beef up the nation’s cybersecurity defenses and investigate financial crime.
“Cyber-intrusion and other computer-crime capabilities and initiatives would be impacted by a lack of personnel with the specialized skills and knowledge needed to investigate such incidents,” Mueller wrote.
He added that sequestration “will cause current financial crimes investigations to slow as workload is spread among a reduced workforce. In some instances, such delays could affect the timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence … “Left unchecked, fraud and malfeasance in the financial, securities, and related industries could hurt the integrity of U.S. markets.”
The full letter can be accessed by clicking on the link to the right of this story.