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P.O. Box 40002 ∑ Olympia, Washington 98504-0002 ∑ (360) 902-4111 ∑



Statewide Elected Officials
State Agency Directors
Presidents of Higher Education Institutions
State Boards and Commissions

FROM: Gary Locke, Governor
DATE: February 21, 2002
SUBJECT: Directive to Freeze Hiring, Travel and Equipment Purchases

A worsening state revenue outlook requires immediate action to freeze hiring, travel, and equipment purchases. We are now looking at a deficit of more than $1.6 billion in the 2001-03 biennial budget as a result of a lower revenue forecast and higher forecasts for public school enrollment, social service caseloads, and juvenile rehabilitation and prison populations.

Beginning February 22, 2002, all state agencies under my direction will impose a hiring freeze. Exempted from this freeze are positions that directly serve public safety and essential health and welfare activities of state government. I also call upon the presidents of higher education institutions, boards and commissions, and our separately elected officials to impose similar restrictions within their agencies and jurisdictions.

Additional exemptions from the hiring freeze may be granted as vacancies occur in critical areas in the rest of government based on a written justification provided to and approved by the director of the Office of Financial Management.

We all recognize the practical difficulties and complications of implementing a hiring freeze. While this is not going to be easy, I ask each manager to use common sense, good judgment, and creativity to aggressively accomplish the ultimate goal of this directive: to save taxpayer dollars through FTE reductions. In addition, non-essential travel and non-essential equipment purchases made with state funds are frozen until further notice.

In implementing this order, agencies shall comply with the appropriate contractual provisions of any current collective bargaining agreement made with their employees. Agencies shall also comply with guidelines and reporting requirements as directed by the Office of Financial Management in separate instructions.