DHR lists possible furlough changes

| March 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
Officials warn wait times for appointments will be longer due to decreased personnel. (U.S. Army photo)

Officials warn wait times for appointments will be longer due to decreased personnel. (U.S. Army photo)

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii
Directorate of Human Resources

The installation’s Directorate of Human Resources will proceed with the following plan in the weeks ahead.


Personnel Services Branch

The furlough will reduce ID Card/DEERS capability by approximately 360 fewer clients per week.

Passports and agent cards’ wait times will be increased by one to two days a week.

Out-processing will continue the same, but Soldiers will have to be on-time to pick up clearing papers.

The potential for mistakes will increase.


Retirement Services Office (RSO)

The furlough will impact the processing of all actions at the RSO. The volume of retirement applications, averaging 30 applications a month, has significantly increased due to redeployments, the Qualitative Management Program/Qualitative Service Program (QMP/QSP) and Pro and 2XNS (twice non-select).

Disability retirements are at their highest, with an average of 51 disability retirements approved per month. Disability and voluntary retirements have created a tremendous impact on the scheduling of mandatory Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) counseling, with one SBP counselor handling the counseling.

The furlough will add additional backlog to the current backlog of processing actions and appointments for the mandatory SBP counseling.

A dramatic increase of telephone inquiries has reduced the amount of time available for processing pending actions due to the change in the hours of operations and the “Appointment Only” system.


Additional changes

Impacts to Soldiers and employees are as follows:
•Processing of all actions (retirements, unqualified resignations, voluntary chapters, Career Status Bonus [CSB], Redux [Reduced Retirement Payment Plan], mandatory SBP counseling and retiree actions) will be at 50 percent services during furlough days.
•The above will create a domino effect on processing of actions and the daily appointments of SBP counseling. Priority will be given to disability retirements, as most of them have only two weeks before they report to the Transition Center.
•Walk-in customers will have to wait longer, as Soldiers/retirees with appointments will be the priority.
•Appointments will take longer. Wait time is based on the availability of employees.
•Increases in negative Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comments affect morale of employees.


Personnel Automation Section (PAS)

The PAS is currently one deep. During the furlough, the Automation Section will be closed one day a week, which will result in the following:
1) Delay in processing departure transactions. Submission of departure transactions on furlough day will be pushed to the next business day.

2) Delay in Officer Record Brief/Enlisted Record Brief (ORB/ERB) corrections. Corrections will be made to officer/Soldiers ORB/ERB as soon as possible after the furlough day.

3) Rank corrections may be delayed, which could impact Soldiers’ pay.

4) Delay in creating/modifying/deleting Electronic Military Personnel Office (eMILPO) actions, as listed:

a) Delays in Datastore/Human Resource Command User Registration System (HURS) accounts.

b) Users will experience delays in receiving their accounts; currently, it is unknown how this situation will affect Soldiers’ ability to accomplish their mission.

c) Delays in correcting deviations.

d) Soldiers’ records will remain in a deviation status (Unit Identification Code [UIC] difference, record status or no record in eMILPO/Total Army Personnel Data Base [TAPDB]) for longer periods of time, which could affect assignments, strength management and promotions.

e) Additional time delay in researching and correcting failure-to-gains (strength management).

f) Delays in Date of Estimated Return from Overseas (DEROS) management.

g) Correcting or resolving incorrect DEROS transactions could have an impact on assignment orders/amendments being published and the ability of the officer/Soldier to clear the installation.

h) System maintenance/outage. The fluctuation of the Internet currently causes delays in ability process transactions. These actions may cause a backlog in several areas.

i) Unscheduled sick leave during this furlough period will have an impact on the functions performed by the PAS and the Soldiers it services.


Casualty Assistance Center (CAC)

The CAC plans to work full staff Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On furlough Mondays and Fridays, there will be limited staff.

Three employees will work on these days if there are no sick or unscheduled leave. The impact that the CAC may encounter are as listed:
•If two or more casualties occur on the same day, at least two or more employees will be required to affectively work these cases.
•If a mass casualty occurs, the requirement will increase.
•During the three days of required Casualty Notification Officer/Casualty Assistance Officer (CNO/CAO) training to Soldiers, if someone was to call in sick, the staff may be zero or one. Casualties will take priority, so the training will be cancelled at that time.
•The CAC is required to certify Soldiers in Guam and American Samoa.
•Cutting funds for temporary duty (TDY) will also have an impact on the CAC. With the furlough, employees will not be able to attend training provided at Fort Knox. This cross-training would allow other employees to provide services in areas that are not considered part of their daily duties.


Family travel section

Furloughs will cause severe hardship on Soldiers and family members. Family travel processes cause more than 2,000 actions quarterly, which include emails from installations worldwide.

Family members with extreme situations will be delayed in departing and joining military sponsors in Hawaii. Some Soldiers with student dependents in college will experience delays in student travel orders.

The furloughs will impact all family travel services, for example, command sponsorship, dependent travel, student travel, early return of dependents and compassionate reassignments.


Reassignments impact statement

Furloughs will cause delays and hardship on Soldiers and family members.

Reassignment processes more than 3,000 actions quarterly, which include responding to emails from installations worldwide.

Quality of reassignment processes has declined due to the high volume of orders and reduction in staff.

Delay in processing of permanent change of station (PCS) orders has caused a backlog within other agencies, to include transportation, housing, CIF and more.

All reassignment actions, for example, PCS orders, In Place Consecutive Overseas Tour/Consecutive Overseas Tour (IPCOT/COT), deletion/deferment and brig transfer orders will be delayed from 10 days to upward of 30 days.

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