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Commissaries plan for potential budget cuts

FORT LEE, Va, February 14, 2013 – The Defense Commissary Agency has implemented several measures that allow the agency to plan for potential budget cuts by reducing operating costs.

Effective Feb. 4, DeCA implemented an agencywide hiring freeze for all outside DeCA hires. DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu made the announcement to headquarters employees during an agency town hall.

“I signed a memo imposing a hiring freeze throughout DeCA,” he said to an audience of about 600 agency employees Feb. 7. “We will continue to allow internal hires, but we cannot hire anyone from outside during the hiring freeze without DoD approval.”

The hiring freeze is another in a series of actions DeCA is implementing based on Department of Defense guidance that allows defense components to plan for potential budget cuts by reducing operating costs. These measures can include terminating temporary hires, eliminating travel that isn’t mission critical and freezing civilian employment.

DeCA’s hiring freeze applies to all outside-the-agency hiring actions with the following exceptions:

  • Hiring commitments made before Feb. 4
  • Placements based on DoD Priority Placement Program
  • The fill of critical positions approved by DoD

In mid-January, DeCA curtailed official travel for all conferences, training and any other events and activities considered noncritical to the agency’s mission of delivering the commissary benefit. Later in January, the agency also cancelled its May case lot sales for overseas commissaries – including Alaska and Hawaii – to reduce the logistical costs associated with supporting these annual events.

“At DeCA, we are always looking for efficiencies and ways to cut costs in commissary operations without reducing service and savings to the commissary patron,” Jeu said. “We are committed to doing everything possible to minimize the impact of any budget decisions on our patrons.”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons save thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to commercial prices when shopping regularly at a commissary. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

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