How would your agency handle a shutdown?


The odds of a partial government shutdown starting Oct. 1 spiked with House Republicans’ decision today to push a 2014 continuing resolution that would also cut off funding for “Obamacare” implementation. What would your agency do? A starting point can be found at the Office of Management and Budget’s website. Back in 2011, (i.e., several crises ago), OMB collected links to the contingency plans for dozens of agencies on a single page and–perhaps presciently–never took them down. Here’s the link:

In a memo today, OMB Director Sylvia Burwell told agencies to update those plans, which determine–among many other issues–which employees will be subject to unpaid furloughs.

Of course, even if a shutdown doesn’t materialize, agencies will likely be operating under a continuing resolution that leaves funding at its current post-sequester benchmark–not exactly something to look forward to. Last week, for example, The New York Times reported that the FBI was planning ten furlough days for most of its workforce, accompanied by closings of its headquarters and regional offices on those days.

A bureau spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm those details, but at the FBI Agents Association, President Reynaldo Tariche said today that there is “grave concern” among agents about the potential impact on investigations and other casework.


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  1. I don’t know what kind of contingency plans our agency has so I sent an email to our alleged leader (hey, he’s an SES so he ought to have some kind of idea) asking questions regarding who would be exempted and forced to temporarily work without pay (defense department agency). With whom would the authority be to make these decisions on individual personnel?

    If the shutdown lasts for less than one week, what tasks get dropped and how are others reprioritized?

    If the shutdown lasts between one week and one month, what then?

    If the shutdown lasts between one month and six months, what then?

    If the shutdown exceeds six months, what then?

    Any one of these scenarios are possible. I’m curious to know if other agencies have thought about these contingencies and have established continuity plans accordingly.

  2. If the republicans allow the shut down, I will exercise my right to not vote for one republican. Perhaps those folks in the house who are creating this problem should take additional cuts in defense funding for their respective states, Im sure that will save money and they can put up or shut up.

  3. Replying to Rascal,
    How can the republicans shut down the government when they only (barely) control one house? The house has passed bills that have not even been considered by the senate. The intransigence on the part of the senate and the administration, coupled with what is truly a dysfunctional house all equally share the blame for any shut down that happens.

    Besides, most of the cuts in defense that have been considered by the republicans were squashed by the democrats, particularly in the senate. You can blame Patty Murray and Dick Durbin for the continuation of a number of unneeded projects simply because those projects mean jobs in their respective states.

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