Feds in a tight spot – literally

Americans, we are told, are getting bigger in most places and in the wrong places.

The White House has launched a campaign to fight childhood obesity. Diet books continue to be best sellers. Doctor and health shows, and infomercials tell us how to slim down, and the NBC show, The Biggest Loser, is one of network TV’s biggest winners.

Some airlines now charge some people double fares although the in-flight movies typically show films starring half-starved, pill-popping women who are supposed to be just like us.

So, could it be that federal workers are actually getting smaller? Are tighter-fitting offices, cubicles, or work spaces the wave of the future?


At least one inquiring fed thinks the answer to the above is “yes.” She’s part of the great BRAC upheaval to what, she says, will be a brave new (and much smaller) world.

She writes:

“I have a question: Are you aware of a regulation that mandates the amount of workspace that DoD employees (or federal employees) should have? I ask because my office is moving about 100 people from a cubicle farm to a new building where we are each being provided a workspace that consists of a 2′ x 5′ table, without divider walls, per person.

“I’ve looked online and have found cases concerning AFGE employees that indicate that minimum should be 60 (or 64) square [feet] per employee, but my office is not a union office (mostly military with a handful of contractors and Department of the Army/GS civilians in grades 12-14).

“Here is additional oddness: There is an Army Regulation (AR1-21, dated 5/8/1985) that deals with space requirements (both office size and ‘open space’) in the National Capital region. It is quite clear and lays things out by grade and duties. However, after I showed it to my division leadership, the response I got was ‘Yup. The higher leadership says they cannot accommodate the regulation due to BRAC.’ Can it be that ‘BRAC stuff’ invalidates/negates regulations?

“Could it be time for me to pay an elected official a friendly visit?” J with the Army

To reach me, mcausey@federalnewsradio.com

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