In Case of Shutdown…

A federal government shutdown — possible if Congress doesn’t take legislative action by March 4 — wouldn’t necessarily mean a complete shutdown.

According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, federal employees can continue to work during a government shutdown if they are involved in national security and the protection of life and property. This includes law enforcement officers, disaster assistance personnel, air traffic controllers and transportation safety workers, coastal and border patrol, and those in public health and medical functions. Employees involved in certain other functions, such as issuing Social Security checks and veterans benefits, typically have been allowed to continue.

Additionally, some independent agencies that rely on fees from the private sector likely would be immune to the effects of a shutdown — including the U.S. Postal Service. When the federal government shuts down, as it did for 27 days in 1995 and 1996, the U.S.P.S. can continue operating uninterrupted and requires no special exemption from the White House.

However, in the event of a shutdown, contractors would not receive payment for most services or be able to renew expiring awards or even obtain access to federal facilities where they had been operating.

However, there are some scenarios in which a federal agency could continue to obligate funds to contractors. During a “soft” shutdown, workers would be told to show up but do nothing productive to carry out the mission. During a “hard” shutdown, federal and contract workers are furloughed.

Companies affected by a shutdown are encouraged to be extremely detailed in their documentation, separating out the costs needed to halt a program and subsequently restart operations. Firms should then promptly seek reimbursement once the government is operating again.

A federal government shutdown — possible if Congress doesn’t take legislative action by March 4 — wouldn’t necessarily mean a complete shutdown.

According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, federal employees can continue to work during a government shutdown if they are involved in national security and the protection of life and property. This includes law enforcement officers, disaster assistance personnel, air traffic controllers and transportation safety workers, coastal and border patrol, and those in public health and medical functions. Employees involved in certain other functions, such as issuing Social Security checks and veterans benefits, typically have been allowed to continue.

Additionally, some independent agencies that rely on fees from the private sector likely would be immune to the effects of a shutdown — including the U.S. Postal Service. When the federal government shuts down, as it did for 27 days in 1995 and 1996, the U.S.P.S. can continue operating uninterrupted and requires no special exemption from the White House.

However, in the event of a shutdown, contractors would not receive payment for most services or be able to renew expiring awards or even obtain access to federal facilities where they had been operating.

However, there are some scenarios in which a federal agency could continue to obligate funds to contractors. During a “soft” shutdown, workers would be told to show up but do nothing productive to carry out the mission. During a “hard” shutdown, federal and contract workers are furloughed.

Companies affected by a shutdown are encouraged to be extremely detailed in their documentation, separating out the costs needed to halt a program and subsequently restart operations. Firms should then promptly seek reimbursement once the government is operating again.

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