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

Annual funding for the government expired on September 30. The Administration strongly believed that a lapse in funding should not occur. The Department is prepared for a 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) required the Department to submit a draft plan for agency operations (PDF) in the absence of appropriations (a “shutdown plan”).

The plan may be modified with additional guidance from the Office of Personnel Management and OMB, and may be changed by the Department, as circumstances warrant. This plan (PDF) complies with the guidance provided by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce. All employees who are Presidentially Appointed, Senate Confirmed will remain on duty.

In compliance with the restrictions of the Anti-Deficiency Act, the Department of Commerce will maintain the following services and activities during a lapse in FY14 appropriations:

• Weather, water, and climate observing, prediction, forecast, warning, and support
• Law enforcement activities for the protection of marine fisheries
• Fisheries management activities including quota monitoring, observer activities, and regulatory actions to prevent overfishing
• Essential natural resource damage assessment activities associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident
• Water level data for ships entering U.S. ports, critical nautical chart updates and accurate position information.
• Patent and trademark application processing
• Operation of the national timing and synchronization infrastructure as well as the National Vulnerability Database
• Maintenance, continuity and protection of certain research property and critical data records
• All services of the National Technical Information Service
• Export enforcement – the ongoing conduct of criminal investigations, and prosecutions, and coordination with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies in furtherance of our national security
• Budget operations required to support excepted activities under a shutdown, such as tracking of obligations and funds control.

The following services and activities will not be available during a lapse in FY14 appropriations:

• Most research activities at NIST and NOAA (excluding real-time regular models on research computers used for Hurricane and FAA flight planning)
• Assistance and support to recipients of grant funding
• Technical oversight of non-mission essential contracts
• Services and activities provided by:
−Bureau of Economic Analysis
−Economic Development Administration
−Economics and Statistics Administration
−Minority Business Development Agency
−Bureau of the Census
• Most services and activities provided by the International Trade Administration

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Who cares?

Dissolve the government, and

Dissolve the government, and have new elections to replace all of the Congresscritters.

2012 Survey of Business Owners & SBO

We can not comply with your request to complete online survey which carries a penalty for noncompliance. Wondering if you can give us an extension since your department is shut down?

How to answer 2012 Survey of Business Owners & SBO

Due to the recent lapse in federal funding, our online reporting website was not operational from October 1 through October 16. Please report online within the next 10 days by going to the Business Help Site at

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we recover from this disruption to our survey. Your prompt response will enable us to keep follow-up costs to a minimum.

If you have any issues reporting online or additional questions please contact us at 1-888-824-9954, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. EDT.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Seriously. Millions of Americans work hard and have to make tough choices every day. You guys never have to make tough choices. ZERO accountability for government workers. You all will get back pay when this is over for sitting at home and not working...which is ridiculous.

Try cutting your budget along with all the other useless ABC agencies and start spending our tax dollars responsibly. Learn to do it now, or the American People will do it for you with a grass roots campaign to get a Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Deficit Spending, and Enforcing a Balanced Budget on our Champagne and Caviar Eating Representatives and Government Officials!!!

A 67 year old woman can go to

A 67 year old woman can go to work and do her job why can't the federal government!

So what is the problem get it

So what is the problem get it together. Cut congress expense accounts and the president's an d balance the budget.

shutdown of government

I think it is high time, the politicians come off their political high horses and resolve this problem. At the moment, I suspect it is politically motivated


This government is being run by political hacks.

know kidding

know kidding

shut down

This is a ridiculous, posturing and the worst example of poor politics. These politicians are acting like a bunch of toddlers stomping their feet. Get over yourselves! During elections you all can't pay enough attention to the poll results, yet to this issue, you are al ignoring the polls stating that the public wants the government functioning and to move on from the Obama-care issue. Be ashamed of yourselves! You are once again embarrassing the United States in front of the world. It is government but the people, not by the few egotists,

Goverment Shutdown

All parties involved are guilty

budget does not exist

Your comment that the leaders can't agree on a budget, is erroneous. The Senate has not passed a budget in 4 years. What the leaders can't agree on is a continuing resolution (CR). When you use the wrong terminology, it confuses and exacerbates the issue. It also leads folks to believe you don't know what you're talking about.

We have details on the National Debt Awareness Center web site.

keep the web site up to date is essential activity

During the shutdown, shouldn't the agency's information resources be considered essential? OPM's website says the best source of information is from each agency. But guess it's "don't call me, I will call you".

Govt shutdown

It is unfortunate that intransigence has caused the government agencies to shut down. It is my belief that the government employees are pawns in this game and it is time for the Republican majority in the house of representatives to do their job.

Open science

Scientific research for society and commerce matters more than our political system currently appreciates. The government shutdown and stalemate is tragic for this country.

current history

Obama should have studied more history.


I didn't ask for any of the above listed unavailable information, but I suppose I was directed here because I am supposed to worry. Sorry, I hope the House Republicans stick to their guns and continue to try and stop Obamacare.....The country appears to be managing just fine with the "shut down."

shut down

congress is completely screwed up and it is a sad day to be an American.

my goverment

shame on all off you I mean both sides of the aisle remember the french
revelution? or how about the civil war you all should be very very concerned...I see a national general strike heading our way just hope
I'm wrong...


The weather does not discontinue itself just because the U.S. Administration thinks a shutdown would be good for our Nation! These guys are nuts by the way.


Hard to believe NOAA is shut down.

government shutdown

It is truly embarrassing to realize just how many sevices provided by the federal government are taken for granted by so many people--apparently our national legislators are among that group of people.

Gov. Shut Down

Foolishness,if i was to send my kids to their room for not getting along/agreeing, i'd be arrested for child abuse. i believe they should have a show called "undercover politician" Maybe then we would understand how blind we are. j donahue, rogers ar

A solution for the deficit

Would the Department of Commerce consider a proposal from The Deficit Recovery Institute and its founder / CEO William D. Peterson, to initiate a project to reduce the current $7 billion per day increase in the U.S. deficit down to zero in three years. The project would include the building and operation of 50 new nuclear plants for making electricity to replace 10% of the use of imported petroleum with electricity and hydrogen, using natural gas to replace 40% of imported petroleum, and replace the remaining 50% of imported petroleum with domestic oil. The project would use Peterson’s 300-year solution for permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

Shutdown of Services

It's a sad sad day when that the elected politicians are behaving like spoiled children rather than intelligent leaders working on solutions to the country's problems; penalizing innocent employees and the general public while playing partisan politics. This can't be what the founding fathers had in mind as a vision for a great nation.

Weather Forcast

Please don’t use this if you are going to moderate it and change it’s meaning. You guys don’t forcast any more. You look out the window and what you see is your forcasr. I;ve been an active aviation pilot for 45 years who earned his living flying. Your forcast are a joke compared to years ago and all you care about is saring people with tornado, hurricane warnings for the next few minutes. Joke Joke Joke. Turn on the computer let the program decide what the forcast is and then publish it with as little human interpritation as possible.

Shut down

So glad that I am spending my tax dollars on Obamaphones and food stamp credit cards for our societty's generational losers rather than on programs that are exceptional like NOAA.