124. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Moose) to All Assistant Secretaries and Office Heads1


  • Employment Ceilings; Continuation of Hiring Limitation Procedures

The Department has received its revised employment ceilings from the Office of Management and Budget. The new ceilings require large reductions—300 by September 30, 1977, and an additional 75 by Sep[Page 503]tember 30, 1978—from the employment levels we had projected as a result of our FY 1977 supplemental and FY 1978 budget submissions. Virtually all of the new programs and requirements submitted by bureaus and described in those budget submissions will have to be met from manpower on board as of February 28, 1977. Obviously, some difficult choices on personnel resource priorities are ahead.

Although the Presidential hiring limitation per se has now been lifted, we are instructed by OMB to maintain employment levels during the remainder of the fiscal year which will enable us to meet our September 30 ceiling. We are now above the ceiling authorized for September 30, 1977. In order to meet this requirement, and to make sure that new hires go to priority needs, we will continue until further notice our present procedures: hires will continue on the present “three for four” basis;2 this office will specifically approve all new American hires. Bureaus with responsibility for hiring local employees overseas are requested to continue to monitor all such hires also on a “three for four” basis. Such bureaus should inform posts that these procedures will continue until further notice.

The near term will be a difficult period for all of us, but I am confident that with careful planning and sound personnel management, we will be able to meet our essential tasks and those priorities established by the President.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1977–1978, Box 3, Chron June 1977. No classification marking.
  2. The hiring formula allowed three hires for every four vacancies.