Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How Apropos...priated.

So, Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) looks to be getting off to a rocky start.


It's particularly poignant for me, as Oct 1, 2013 marks the one-year anniversary of my separation from the U.S. Air Force. So, how should I celebrate? Just showing up at my new job seems a bit understated, but considering all the political (in)action over the FY14 budget, I'm just glad I got this in my State Dept email on Sept 30th:
"Employees and contractors should report for work on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, as usual, and continue reporting to work until instructed otherwise by my office.  These Department employees will be paid for their work on the regular schedule." 
How'd I get so "lucky" when other federal workers are getting furloughed? It's due to the fortunate fact that most State Department construction funds are considered to be "no-year" or "zero-year" dollars...so they don't really expire like "FY13 dollars". Compare that to some of my friends in the park service, who have to close up shop because they can't use FY13 money (because it's now FY14) and don't have FY14 money to spend (because it hasn't been appropriated).

But all this fiscal talk isn't new to me. My last job in the USAF involved a 5-year plan (ie, FY13-FY17 dollars), and we ended up moving some projects around so that construction would be completed before the funds expired. When I left the military, I knew there was no way I would ever go back to the DoD voluntarily as a civilian or a contractor because their funding gets cut in order to pay the folks in uniform (or for the latest "toy"). I mean, that sort of prioritization is great when you're in uniform, but not so much when the tables are turned.

Wanna get really wonky about Title 22 construction funds? Check out this link to 22 USC § 4852 - Diplomatic Construction Program.
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