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Shutdown Day One – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • It happened. The federal government shutdown. But in all the coverage of the political debacle, the Senator Ted Cruz filibuster, the Obamacare riders, one thing seems to be overshadowed, the federal employees themselves. More than a third of the government workforce was told to go home because their work wasn’t deemed essential. But that simply isn’t true. The work govies do on a daily basis matters.

Government shutdown — day 1

Yes, it is the first day of the government shutdown, and, unfortunately, there is no endgame in sight.

The ramifications of the shutdown will have an impact and ripple effects for weeks and months to come, as three former OPM directors made clear at the Government Workforce conference last week.

We certainly understand that some people are going to be going stir crazy. And there will be many focus watching the ins and outs of the political world. We will keep you updates with some of the stories that you need to know that will help you do your job better.

But here at GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER, we are going to continue focusing on our favorite six words — helping government do it’s job better — and we are going to try to help you focus on opportunities to help you get even better and be prepared for when government is back to work.

In the meantime, your Shutdown Rundown:

  • Letter from the President to U.S. Government Employees

  • Politico, How it happens: Shutting down the government is nothing like the slow-motion calamity that is sequestration. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will face indefinite furloughs. National parks from Yosemite to Acadia will be closed. And if the spending standoff lasts into late October, veterans’ benefit payments would trickle to a stop.

  • Obama to sign military pay bill: President Barack Obama plans to sign a last-minute bill authorizing paychecks for troops and some Defense Department workers and contractors if the government shuts down, the White House said Monday. .

  • OMB issues shutdown guidance to agencies Memo PDF

  • The Nation:Gov Shutdown Will Hit Federal Workers, Poor Americans

  • Poll: Don’t Shut Down the Government Over Obamacare

  • The stipulations for whether or not federal contractor employees will continue to work during the current government shutdown are based on when funding for their projects was approved. Federal News Radio reports that for many contractors, the funding for their projects has already been issued, allowing them to work despite the government shutdown. According to OPM, contractors can work even without supervision from government employees so long as that supervision is not critical to the contractor’s work during a shutdown.

  • NextGov: Government Social Media Feeds Will Go Dark During a Shutdown

  • WTOP: Feds – if you are shutdown – get some ‘furlough freebees’ (mostly in DC)

  • Market Place: Why a government shutdown costs money

  • Tim Fullerton: Looking 4 info on what the government shutdown means national parks, wildlife refuges, etc?

  • USA TODAY: Two generals asked to retire in wake of Bastion attack

  • Shutdown’s Impact on Federal IT Security: NIST Suspends Work on Obama’s Cybersecurity Framework

  • Politico Poll: Congress approval at 10 percent

  • Close to 3,000 airline safety inspectors have been furloughed by the FAA as a result of the government shutdown. Union officials representing these workers were at first surprised by the furloughs, expecting that these employees would be exempted because their work is critical for public safety. Federal News Radio maintains, however, that these inspectors are furloughed, but that they may be asked to work incrementally over the next two weeks.

The latest cover of the Daily News shows Speaker of the House John Boehner seated at the Lincoln Memorial — under the headline “House of Turds” (a nod to “House of Cards“) — with something dripping from his hands.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Justice Department may be wasting millions of dollars on air travel as a result of its online booking system. The Federal Times reports that for some DOJ officials the online booking system has not been displaying less expensive, non-contract airfares by default. Furthermore, managers responsible for authorizing travel arrangements have not been receiving from the online system the necessary information needed to confirm that employees are selecting the least expensive travel options.

  2. Defense Department officials continue to debate whether or not security clearance evaluations should be conducted by contractors or handled by the federal government. The Federal Times notes that much of this debate stems from the fact that a contracting firm investigated and approved Aaron Alexis’ security clearance, overlooking or dismissing his record of arrests and violent behavior. His attack on the Navy Yard has, overall, led policymakers to reevaluate the expectations and procedures associated with security clearance investigations.

  3. General James Amos, the Marine Corp Commandant, has called for the retirement of Major General Charles “Mark” Gurganus and Major General Gregg Sturdevant for their failure to provide adequate security measures and exercise sound judgment during the attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan last September. USA Today reports that the attack occurred when 15 insurgents infiltrated the U.S. military base last year, killing two marines and destroying more than a dozen aircraft. Investigations into the attack show that the guard tower had been left unmanned and perimeter patrols had been reduced under Gurganus and Sturdevant’s leadership.

  4. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved last night the nomination of Suzanne Spaulding for the position of Undersecretary for National Protection and Programs in the Department of Homeland Security. A White House press release states that Spaulding has been acting in this position since 2011. If approved by the entire Senate, Spaulding’s nomination will make her a permanent undersecretary at DHS, where according to a DHS press release her responsibilities will include securing critical infrastructure and federal facilities and improving identity management initiatives.

  5. The U.S. Postal Service has defaulted again on a prepayment for its future retirees’ health care plan. Required by Congress to pay $5 billion annually to fund this retiree initiative, USPS officials state that these payments, along with significantly reduced mail volumes, are pushing the agency closer and closer to needing a taxpayer bailout. Reuters projects that by 2017, if current conditions continue, the USPS will require a $50 billion bailout to continue functioning. USPS leadership is asking Congress for the elimination of the health care prepayments and the opportunity for the agency to manage its own health care system.

  6. NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise Wide Procurement (SEWP), a contracting firm offering a wide array of IT products and services, will be remaining open on a limited basis to provide IT services to government offices exempted from the shutdown. However, as FCW reports, a recent fire at a chip fabrication plant in China may delay the delivery and increase the costs of SEWP’s computers.

  7. There has been a significant rise in the number of state-affiliated cyberattacks in the United States. Between 2011 and 2012, the percent of data breaches associated with a foreign government increased from 1 to 19 percent. FCW states that this is a significant trend in that it marks the decline of cyber intrusions for financial gain and highlights how unprepared the United States is to combat an increasing number of hackers motivated by the information they can steal rather than the money they can make.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

You can find all GovLoop’s coverage of the shutdown here.

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Jaime Gracia

On a lighter note, WWII and Korea veterans were able to visit monuments and defy the shutdown this afternoon!

The real hero was the hero who defied the shutdown in the first place:

It was unclear just who had moved the black bicycle-rack-type barricades.