Budget

Time for shutdown prep, says key trade group

Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com DECEMBER 26, 2018: Sign at the visitor’s entrance of the US National Archives states it is closed due to the government shutdown. - Image 

Congress is expected to pass a second continuing resolution funding the government through Dec. 20, and President Donald Trump will likely that bill, speculated a top executive at a leading government contractor trade group, but after that, federal contractors should be prepared for the worst.

"Don't place a lot of bets after Dec. 20," said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council in a Nov. 13 conference call on preparing for a potential federal government shutdown.

Even though a federal shutdown may not be imminent, it is possible, said Chvotkin, federal contractors should start talking to their federal agency customers now about how contracts and work on them could be affected.

The last shutdown showed how communications between contractors and federal agencies are crucial in managing contract work, payment and performance, according to Chvotkin. “Most agencies did a poor job of communicating before, during and after” that event, he said.

He advised contractors to get in touch with the federal agency counterparts now to discuss a range of issues, including contract status, deadlines, renewal dates, and task orders. Contractors should also know how their agency customers will issue “stop work” orders ahead of a shutdown to avoid confusion.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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