Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
One of the top priorities of this Administration is to manage the affairs of Government more efficiently. As part of this effort, we must hold Federal employment to the lowest number needed to operate effectively. Toward that end, I am imposing a limitation on the hiring of Federal civilian workers pending the establishment of revised employment ceilings.
I ask that you issue instructions limiting the number of appointments to full-time permanent positions in your agency to not more than 75 percent of the number of vacancies occurring after February 28, 1977. This limitation should be made effective at once and will remain in effect until new employment ceilings for fiscal years 1977 and 1978 have been established.
I am instructing the Office of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission to issue guidance on this directive. In addition, I delegate authority to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to grant specific exceptions in a very limited number of cases, when such action is necessary to preserve the continuity of Government by assuring that essential services are provided and that fundamental needs are met.
You should make every effort to avoid requesting exceptions by making personnel reallocations within your respective agencies to meet needs of highest priority and to assure that vital and basic services are not interrupted. Contracting with firms and institutions outside the Government will not be used to alleviate the effect of this directive.
I am depending on you to give this effort your sincere support and personal attention.
JIMMY CARTERNote: The text of the memorandum was released on March 2.
On the same day, the White House Press Office released the following information in an announcement on the memorandum:
The reductions in current employment levels will be met by attrition. No one will be fired. As of December 31, the Federal payroll included 1,902,000 permanent civilian employees (excluding the Postal Service). The Office of Management and Budget estimates attrition at 10 percent of the Federal work force annually.