Congress has approved a plan to avoid furloughs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees in fiscal 2013, according to a statement Wednesday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
CBP also will continue to pay for “administratively uncontrollable overtime,” which applies to Border Patrol agents when they work unscheduled extra hours to fulfill their duties, according to the announcement.
The agency had initially planned to furlough its employees for up to 14 days and eliminate unscheduled overtime for Border Patrol agents to trim costs under the government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester.
To avoid that fate, Homeland Security asked its House and Senate appropriators to allow a transfer of $11.3 million to CBP’s salaries and expenses account from other spending categories.
“The approval of this reprogramming request mitigates the challenges our workforce would have faced with furloughs and demonstrates the support of the entire department of CBP’s mission,” Napolitano said.