The CIA, FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies are planning potentially significant employee furloughs in the event of a federal government shutdown, top agency officials said on Wednesday.
Several national security and counterterrorism officials said these agencies had elaborate plans for furloughs if Congress and the White House fail to agree on a budget plan to keep federal probing funded. [ID:nN05158193]
“The IC (intelligence community) has been looking very carefully at this,” one official said.
The key question, the official said, is what do agency managers believe are “essential” intelligence operations.
Intelligence agencies are planning to furlough employees deemed engaged in “nonessential” work. The spy units have already made extensive plans outlining which workers are considered essential and which are not.
As part of this process, one official said, the urgency of individual intelligence cases is being evaluated.
Workers assigned to cases examining long-term threats, or broad strategic problems, might face involuntary furloughs, while officials assigned to track down urgent threats would stay on the job.