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What elements of the federal government would actually get "shutdown"? What does being "shutdown" really mean? Does it mean all of HUD/DOT/DOE etc would shutdown? Just portions?


How about DHS, DOD, or Intelligence Community agencies? I don't imagine the Pentagon would close, TSA would stop screenings, or the CIA would stop doing their work.


Anyone able to elaborate on this topic?



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That thought has crossed my mind as well.  I think we are between a rock and a hard place.  The public has no sympathy whatsoever for a government employee.

I am sure they will feel the  affect of National Parks and Forests closing.

It is very frustrating to know they can just shut us down because of their bad management practices and there are absolutely no consequences/accountability.


As government workers, we have opportunities to present our ROI etc to family and friends but generally not to the public. We rely on the official information offices and out reach of our agencies. To me this seems like a rare opportunity to let people know that we are dedicated to our jobs and to our country and that we are not just sitting around collecting paychecks.

Also heard from a few people that the weird thing after the shutdown was that then only had a few months to spend the budget for that year - so in end some people got more training, new projects, etc in end
My sense is that Congress will reciss any funds that are surplus to the level of funding they approve.

I'm particularly curious about our contractors.  We have a fixed price contract for technical assistance with our grantees.  Can the contractor keep working since the funding for the contract has already been obligated?


And what about our grantees?  Will they be able to draw funding down during the shut down? 



Based on all the article I have read, a Fixed Price contract with up-front funding is probably one of the few contracts that would be allowed to continue work. This though, assumes that you still have access to the facility/ies necessary for doing the work, IT systems are still running, and if you require any government approvals or interaction that the government people are available.


Best to talk to your Contracting Office asap to find out how they think it will work.


I was a contractor during the last shutdown. the government facility we worked at was shut down, but we were allowed to work at company headquarters provided we could perform work that was related to the contract, and so we consequently got paid. Many other contractors were not so lucky and did not get paid for the time. I understand that it depends on the type of contract and the specifics of the contract, as well as the interpretation of the contract's terms by the contracting officer.

Here's an article from GovWin (Deltek) summing up the latest news on the implications of a shutdown.

Which includes a link to this pretty thorough list of questions.

Here are some more details from WashTech:

Contracts paid for with fiscal 2010 money are still in operation, but invoices might be paid late because of a shutdown. The government might owe a little more if the payment is late. Yet the contractor would generally be required to continue working and to bill the government according to the terms of the contract, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council said at today's conference.

Contracts providing products and services won’t be affected in the same way despite using fiscal 2011 money.

And this article from FederalTimes also had a few good nuggets.

Another good article, from Government Executive:

Determining employees' and contractors' work status also could be based on whether the shutdown is labeled "hard" or "soft." During a soft shutdown, workers would be told to show up but do nothing productive to carry out the mission, Cooney said. Soft shutdowns are typical when an administration believes a budget compromise is near and it is unnecessary for workers to miss a full day.

The more likely scenario is a hard shutdown, during which federal and contract workers are furloughed. In this scenario, security guards would block employees from entering their buildings. Workers would be prohibited from volunteering their services and would be advised not to continue working under the false assumption that the financial terms could be worked out later.

There are a multitude of other factors that would determine if a firm should continue working on a particular contract, said Alan Chvotkin, PSC's executive vice president and counsel. Fixed-price contracts generally are paid in advance, allowing the company to continue providing the service. Programs with revolving funds that do not rely on congressional appropriations -- such as the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service -- likewise would be exempt from the shutdown.

But, companies relying on cost-plus and time-and-materials contracts would not be so lucky. Cost-type contracts generally include a "limitations of funds" clause that would serve as a de facto stop on most work, Chvotkin said. Time-and-materials contracts, which are based on incurred costs, also would not be funded. And, while indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contracts would remain valid, no new orders could be placed. Deadlines for filing bid protests and agency appeals, however, are unlikely to be pushed back because of a shutdown, he said.

Thanks for posting our piece about the contractors. We are also researching in greater detail how everyone is going to be informed on March 4. I'm going to generate another discussion to see what the buzz is as far as when people will know what happens.
Thank you Christopher - this is really helpful.  And depressing. 
As a new government employee, I'm concerned about my colleagues (contractors) who seem even less likely to receive retroactive pay than we are. Most of them work side by side the "govies" in similar positions.

I don't think PMS or any other government payment system will be working, so the answer to "...will they be able to draw funding down during the shut down?" is no.


I'm not looking forward to the onslaught of work after we return, nor the possibility of this happening again in September.


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