Budget

OMB tells agencies to prepare for possible shutdown

capitol dome and bills

In the unlikely event that any agency leaders had forgotten that funding runs out on Sept. 30, a new memo from Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell offers a reminder -- and urges them to update their contingency plans.

The Sept. 17 memo, carrying the subject line of "Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations," notes that there is still time for Congress to provide funding for Oct. 1 and beyond.  "However," Burwell writes, "prudent management requires that agencies be prepared for the possibility of a lapse."

The memo refers agency leaders to the relevant legal guidelines for determining what functions are critical enough to continue during a shutdown. An attached FAQ covers questions on contracts and vendor payments, basic IT operations, employee travel and the keys to an "orderly shutdown."

Agency leaders with unanswered questions are instructed to contact Joseph Jordan, OMB's administrator for federal procurement policy, or OMB General Counsel Geovette Washington, OMB's General Counsel.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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