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Thread: Impact of Sequestration on the FBI

  1. #1
    Council Member
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    Oct 2005

    Default Impact of Sequestration on the FBI

    Trying to save money by undermining the FBI’s ability to protect the public is likely to be far more costly to our country in the long run. FBI employees represent less than two percent of the federal workforce, and FBI Agents are less than one percent. In addition to helping protect our country, our work has also resulted in the payment of over $23 billion in recoveries and penalties to the federal government over the last three years. It makes no sense to place the entire country at greater risk and restrict the resources available to these dedicated public servants for a small amount of savings.
    An attempt to use pragmatism with our current Congress is probably a wasted effort, but the insights in this report are eye opening.

    New FBI Director James B. Comey stunned by impact of sequestration on agents in the field

    But Comey was stunned when he began visiting FBI field offices this month and heard directly from his special agents. New intelligence investigations were not being opened. Criminal cases were being closed. Informants couldn’t be paid. And there was not enough funding for agents to put gas in their cars.

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006



    I have read the FBIAA report and skimmed the second cited report.

    Somehow I doubt that the FBI or any other LE agency has had an unlimited budget, even in wartime. Choices always have to be made. That is what the Director and those below him should be doing.

    It is an easy gain to cut mileage, increase holidays and the like. They are quick, readily noted by all inside and can be spun easily. I expect a large portion of the FBI's budget is on personnel costs; in English policing is it is commonly cited as over 85% IIRC.

    The "years of plenty" for policing here are clearly over. I know from another thread local level LE in the USA has in places felt the pinch. This does not mean I agree with the decisions. Now the FBI has a renewed challenge, to spend less and achieve it's best.

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    This is equally true for defense, but what cuts the FBI makes will either imply intelligent risk taking based on analysis and logic, or a decision to underfund field operations intentionally to make a political statement and undermine Congress's attempt to get funding under control.

    Conducting a hiring freeze and putting academy training on hold is a short term savings measure at best. I have no visibility on why they cut what they did, perhaps they had to, and if that is the case then Congress needs to reconsider. Defense deals largely with potential threats, while the FBI is countering ongoing threats to the homeland, so I'm a bit concerned about the reduction of spending for ongoing operations.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 09-30-2013 at 02:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Portland, OR


    I would think the FBI will cut in areas of overlap like drug investigations. This last year DEA cut travel, academy classes and transfers except for those coming back from overseas. We are expecting furlough days this year, but how many I don't know. I've heard anywhere from 11-22 days. I would think the Special Agents in Charge of the other divisions did what my SAC did this last year and that was scrutinizing all travel, drug purchases, informant payments and other expenditures related to operations. Usually the SACs delegate this authority to lower levels unless the costs reach a certain amount and his approval is required. Title III costs take up a lot of our budget so I expect there to be fewer T3 cases - mainly due to translation costs.

    I've been told that DEA staffs at about 92% of our allocated TOE while the FBI staffs at about 98%. This extra 6% should give us a little wiggle room, but I expect it to be a very lean year. Our many offices will need to be very selective in our investigations to ensure we are pursuing truly "federal" level targets.

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