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United States Department of Commerce Plan for Orderly Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations

This blog post is about an older plan. The United States Department of Commerce Plan for Orderly Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations at the end of FY 2013 is available here.

The current FY 2011 Continuing Resolution may expire without new budget authority. While it is not anticipated that there will be a lapse in appropriations, the Department must be prepared for a potential lapse in funding that would necessitate a significant reduction in operations.

Prior to a potential lapse in funding, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires the Department to submit a draft plan for agency operations in the absence of appropriations (a "shutdown plan"). This plan will likely be modified with additional guidance from the Office of Personnel Management and OMB, as the situation develops, and may be changed by the Department, as circumstances warrant.

This plan complies with the guidance provided by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce.


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In the plan it is written:

Notice Issuance:
• On the first business day following the lapse in appropriations, all employees will report to work.
• SHROs will establish a process to ensure non-excepted employees are properly notified (e.g., sign and date their notice of furlough letter to confirm receipt of notice or by other accepted method) and keep a record.
• Management will meet with employees within the employee’s first hour of reporting to work to review the furlough process and issues notices. The supervisor will keep a record of employees notified.
• All managers will submit complete list of notified employees to SHRO for confirmation of completion.
• Employees will shut down their offices and must leave the workplace within four hours of their arrival on the effective date.

Can someone please clarify how this will take place if an employee reports to work via telecommute? Can receipt of notice be done electronically? If so, will I be able to log in to my email to conduct this step?

Talk directly to your supervisor

You should talk with your supervisor directly. Some situations are different so your supervisor will be able to explain what you need to do.

Department's handling of projected shut down

I was very impressed with how the Department handled the projected shut down. I felt as well informed as an employee could be, considering that the Department had limited information. Thank you for a job well done.