Department of Homeland Security

Uniform Allowance Modifications

To the best of my knowledge all 44,600 uniformed employees of CBP get an $800.00 annual clothing allowance. Over the past 9 years my experience has shown that the majority of employees spend all of their funds even if they do not need any uniform supplies. At the end of the fiscal year employees are ordering items just to zero out their balance. My estimates are that the uniform allowance budget is probably in the area of $35,680,000.00. If the agency were to alternate years they could possibly save approximately $8,920,000.00 every other year. I propose that the allowance be $800.00 one year and $600.00 the next year and they continue to follow this rotation. This would show a substantial cost savings every other year. I realize that this will not be a popular suggestion especially with bargaining unit personnel but it is a shame to see officers purchase items they do not need and this money could certainly be put to better use.

Of course it wouldn’t have to follow my exact formula but I think if a study was done on the actual use of uniform allowance for necessary purchase the facts would prove that the uniformed work force could definitely survive with fewer funds and still be fully equipped.

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Idea No. 4619