The White House Office of Management and Budget issued the following on Tuesday, September 17th regarding federal operations in the event of a government shutdown after Monday, September 30th. Click here for the full memo and attached FAQ's.
Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm on Monday, September 30. The Administration does not want a lapse in appropriations to occur. There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and the Administration is willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical Government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2014 appropriations. However, prudent management requires that agencies be prepared for the possibility of a lapse. To that end, this guidance reminds agencies of their responsibilities to plan for agency operations under such a contingency.
At this time, agencies should be updating their plans for operations in the absence of appropriations, consistent with Section 124.2 ofOMB Circular A-ll (which is available at http://www.whjtehouse.gov/sites/default/file lomb/as ets/all current year/sl24.pdf). In doing so, agencies should refer to relevant legal opinions issued by the Attorney General and the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice, which set forth the legal requirements imposed by the Antideficiency Act (Act) during a lapse in appropriations and the guiding standards agencies should use in making decisions under the Act during a lapse in appropriations.
In updating contingency plans, agency leaders should ensure that only those activities that are "excepted" pursuant to applicable legal requirements would continue to be performed during a lapse in the appropriation for those activities (unless the agency has a separate funding source for an activity that will remain available during a lapse and that the agency would use for the activity's continued performance). Also, agency leaders should carefully review determinations regarding which employees would be necessary for the agency's continued performance ofthose "excepted" functions, to ensure that these case-by-case determinations are consistent with the applicable legal requirements.
In addition, agencies should consult the attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents, which address technical questions about particular matters related to agency operations during a lapse in appropriations. OMB previously issued these F AQ documents in April2011 and December 2011 (in conjunction with OMB Memoranda M-11-13 and M-12-03), and they provide an overview ofrelevant legal principles that apply to all government operations, address particular issues with contracts and grants, and answer questions relating to information technology, travel, orderly shutdown, and payment for excepted work. Also, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) previously issued F AQs to assist agencies and employees on personnel issues associated with a funding lapse, which can be found on OPM's website.
Agencies should continue the process ofupdating their plans until further guidance is provided. Should it prove necessary, OMB will provide additional information on planning efforts at a later date, including regarding external outreach to stakeholders and the release of updated plans.
Agency leaders with questions on the contents of this Memorandum or about the process for updating plans for the orderly shutdown of operations should contact Joseph Jordan, OMB's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, or Geovette Washington, OMB's General Counsel. Your staff should direct queries to your OMB Resource Management Office or your agency's Office ofGeneral Counsel.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation. We will continue to be in close contact with you as developments unfold.