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



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

FROM: Gary Locke, Governor
DATE: December 16, 2002
SUBJECT: Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Reductions for FY 2003

Due to the persistent decline in our economy and related revenue collections, I have had to take a number of steps to reduce state spending. A key component of this strategy has been to reduce overall FTE positions. On April 10, 2002, I issued Directive 02-03 to set a 404 FTE reduction target, above and beyond the 939 FTE reduction assumed in the state budget passed by the Legislature. By this directive, I am increasing the target by an additional 809 FTEs, thereby tripling the reduction target from 404 to 1, 213. This new target must be reached by June 30, 2003.

Agency directors are to use a modified hiring freeze to accomplish this goal. Agencies with public safety missions are permitted to fill 2 out of every 3 positions that come vacant through attrition. All other agencies are permitted to fill only 2 out of every 5 positions that come vacant through attrition. In reaching these new staffing targets, each agency director shall make every effort to focus on reducing the size of their managerial, administrative, and middle management ranks. Reductions in front line positions should be limited to the greatest extent possible.

Without new funding to continue its current level of effort, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will cut an additional 196 FTEs by July 2003 - with another 414 FTEs to be cut as projects end during the 2003-05 biennium. Collectively, the supplemental budget, directives and WSDOT actions will eliminate over 2,376 FTEs in state government by June 30, 2003. I renew my call to presidents of higher education institutions, boards, commissions and our separately elected officials to impose similar standards to achieve targeted savings within their agencies and jurisdictions.

I have directed the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to provide each agency with reduction targets. OFM will regularly monitor statewide accounting data concerning FTE staff to determine agency compliance with these new targets. OFM will also consult with the Department of Personnel to review hiring, payroll, and headcount reports. Agencies are not required to submit hiring exemption requests as long as targets are being met.

As I stated in my April directive, this is not an easy time. All of us and all of our employees in state government need to use common sense, good judgment and creativity to provide the best possible service to our residents at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. I appreciate what you all do for the citizens of the state of Washington, and thank you in advance for your cooperation.