Government Shutdown

IT departments take shutdown hit

power button on computer

Many IT employees who shut down their computers on Sept. 30 haven't returned to power up. (Stock image)

Even though most agency shutdown contingency plans aren't specific about which employees will be furloughed, it's clear that the government shutdown is powering off many IT jobs.

Veterans Affairs is reporting that of its 14,000 furloughed employees (4 percent of its total workforce), 3,200 are IT employees,  40 percent of its IT staff. At Housing and Urban Development, the CIO is allowed to "maintain a minimum staff to maintain liaison with the contractors and headquarters and field personnel," according to its contingency plan.

At the Interior Department, "a small number of operational staff would be on duty or on call to coordinate or supervise firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency response and similar activities, to maintain communications and provide budget, financial, information technology, human resources, and contracting support."

Even though the Department of Energy was fully operational as of Thursday – it had not yet put its contingency plan into action -- that plan includes just seven excepted employees under the CIO, who would provide "support to portions of DOE that perform functions related to the safety of human life or the protection of property as well as protect property."

NASA has been the hardest hit agency in terms of overall employment, with 97 percent of its workers furloughed. HUD is close behind with 96 percent.

The Defense Department has deemed 86 percent of its workers as essential and therefore excepted from furlough, and is seeking to bring more back.

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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