Sequestration cuts hit agencies to tune of $39B in 2013

The Professional Services Council estimates that sequestration cuts will total $39 billion in 2013 for civilian agencies.

The overall civilian budget is expected to take a $39 billion hit in fiscal 2013 if sequestration takes effect on Jan. 3.

The only agency not expected to see a significant cut is Veterans Affairs, which was protected in the Budget Control Act that set up sequestration, according to an analysis by the Professional Services Council.

PSC, an industry group, looked at fiscal 2012 as the baseline budget for the cuts, and calculated a 7.8 percent reduction in civilian spending, compared to a 7.7 percent reduction for the Defense Department.

Still unclear is where and how the specific cuts will be made. Agencies are still awaiting more specific guidance from the Office of Management and Budget.

Agencies still need to understand how sequestration works, and how it will impact employees, contractors and the users of government programs, Alan Chvotkin, PSC's executive vice president, told Washington Technology sister publication, FCW.

Agencies will have to create alternative plans for addressing cuts, and create communication strategies for employees and stakeholders, he said