After a three-year sequester-imposed hiring freeze, the Justice Department will begin employing federal agents, prosecutors, analysts and other staff as of Feb. 10.
Additional resources provided by the budget deal passed by Congress on Dec. 18 allowed DOJ to fill 4,000 vacancies left by the freeze.
“After years of doing more with less, we will begin to fill critical vacancies and we will resume the normal hiring process,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video statement.
DOJ froze hiring in January 2011 after sequestration cuts went into effect.
If the budget deal had not passed, the hiring freeze would have lasted into 2015. The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee estimated DOJ would have lost an additional 1,200 employees during that time, leaving the department with the same staffing as it had in 1997.
“At the end of the day, justice cannot be done on the cheap, and public safety does not come free,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told Congress in December. “And the impact of a prolonged hiring freeze and continuing budget cuts could ultimately work irrevocable harm to the fundamental mission of my office—which is to keep our homeland secure, our streets safe, our markets fair and our government honest.”