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Federal Eye
Posted at 05:11 PM ET, 04/08/2011

Government Agency shutdown plan details: What is my agency’s plan if the government shuts down?


The rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is seen, Friday evening, Feb. 18, 2011. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)
Updated 11:56 a.m. 4/9/2011:

The government narrowly avoided a shutdown Friday, allowing federal workers to return to work on schedule.

Government agencies are providing instructions to employees in preparation for a likely government shutdown. We are collecting those updates here.

If you are looking for general information regarding the government shutdown, please see our frequently asked questions list here.

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Click on the agency name below to see planning details in the event of a shutdown:

The Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Reserve

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Federal Communications Commission

The Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Transportation

The Supreme Court

The Postal Regulatory Commission

Office of Management and Budget

The Department of Labor

The National Weather Service

Federal Aviation Administration

U.S. Patent Office

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. State Department

The Federal Housing Administration

U.S. Patent Office

Veterans Health Administration

The Education Department

U.S. Agency for International Development

The Energy Department

The Department of Veterans Affairs

The National Archives

The Government Accountability Office

The Government Printing Office

The Consumer Products Safety Commission

The Bueau of Engraving and Printing

The Department of Justice

The Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis & Economics Statistics Administration

The Department of Homeland Security

The Interior Department

The Treasury Department


THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz released the following statement regarding the potential for a government shutdown:

It now appears that there will be a lapse in funding late tonight and that our wonderful agency, along with most of the federal government, will shut down.
I did not want anyone to leave work today without telling you how proud the Commission is of the work you do every day to protect America's consumers. The FTC is a small agency, but your work makes us mighty.
We hope that any shutdown will be short-lived and will not impose hardship on any of our employees or their families -- and that we will all be back at work, helping consumers and promoting competition, very, very soon.
Thank you for your hard work, dedication and service.

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THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD

The Federal Reserve funds iself with its own earning and will remain open.

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THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a detailed document regarding its plans in the event of a government shutdown.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) released a statement outlinining that, if a shutdown were to occur, “about nine out of every 10 U.S. EPA employees will be furloughed.” The statement goes on to say that “of the 17,721 full- and part-time employees, the agency estimates that 804 woudl be considered essential because they fall under emergency exceptions that allow for employees to carry out activities like protecting life and property.” Meanwhile, according to AFGE, another 856 would be deemed “exempted” because their programs are funded by unexpired appropriations.

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THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

The Federal Communications Commission released a detailed document outlining plans in the event of a government shutdown.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

The Department of Health & Human Services has released two documents detailing plans in the event of a government shutdown. The first document details the department’s plans, while the second provides staffing details.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

The Department of Transportation has released a detailed document detailing plans in the event of a government shutdown. Details include essential and non-essential personnel for the Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Transit Administration among others.

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THE SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court released a short statement regarding preparations in the event of a government shutdown:

In the event of a lapse of appropriations, the court will continue to conduct its normal operations through the week of April 11," the statement said. "The court building will be open to the public during its usual hours.

The justices are not scheduled to meet in public next week, however a private conference is scheduled for April 15 and orgal arguemtns are scheduled to resume on April 18.

The Supreme Court remained open during the shutdowns of 1995 and 1996.

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THE POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

Not to be confused with the United Postal Service (which is self-funded and will remain operational during a government shutdown), the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, has released a detailed document outlining the commission’s plans in the event of a government shutdown.

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THE OFFICE MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

The Office of Management and Budget has released a detailed document outlining a shutdown plan.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The Department of labor has released a detailed document detailing the agency’s shutdown plans. The document breaks down on a department-by-department basis employees who will be deemed “essential” and those who will not.

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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

The National Weather Service Employees Organization released the following statement:

Government offices are bracing for a possible shutdown on April 9 due to a budget impasse in Congress. All National Weather Service forecasts, watches and warnings will continue on a 24 hours a day - 7 days a week basis while the financial matters of the FY11 budget are resolved.
While many employees of the National Weather Service are considered “essential” and will report to work, a large number of their co-workers who are not under the “essential employee” status will be furloughed. These employees have positions that are integral to the weather service’s mission of saving lives.
Employees of the National Weather Service are prepared to go to work – with no guarantee of payment. Paychecks will be delayed for essential employees, if they receive one at all. For those employees considered non-essential, there will be no work and presumably no paycheck.
“Dedication – it takes only one word to describe the National Weather Service,” said Dan Sobien, President of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. “The men and women of the National Weather Service went into this field for the mission of saving lives and property. To carry out this mission, we need all of the employees of the National Weather Service. Each position is essential.”
“We regularly endure great hardships, knowing our careers will not lead to great wealth, but out of a love for the service to others. That’s what we’re here to do and that’s what we’ll do whether there’s a government shutdown or not.”

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FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

According to an agency official, the FAA will retain all employees necessary to keep the national airspace system operating safely. However, non-critical safety functions would be suspended including aircraft certification, the development, testing and evaluation of NextGen technologies and most budget and administrative activities. 

The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be unaffected because both are funded by resources from the highway trust fund.  Federal Railroad Administration employees performing safety activities would continue working, but all federal high-speed rail work as well as policy and development work will be suspended.  This includes capital and debt service grant payments to Amtrak.  

The official went on to say, "We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios."

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U.S. PATENT OFFICE

The U.S. Patent Office will remain open during a government shutdown. The agency released the following statement:

...in the event of a government shutdown on April 9, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will remain open and continue to operate as usual, for a fixed period, with all USPTO staff continuing to work and being paid.
Because the USPTO maintains sufficient funding not linked to the current fiscal year, the USPTO can and will stay open for business. We have enough available reserves to remain in operation for six business days and intend to do so. During that time we will continue to process the patent and trademark applications that drive our country’s innovative economy. Should a shutdown continue longer than the six-day period, a small staff will continue to work to accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, among other functions.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

The following is a statement from Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III to the DOD workforce regarding plans in the event of a shutdown.

The department remains hopeful that a government shutdown will be averted. The President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the administration is working to find a solution with which all sides can agree. However, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill before our current funding expires on April 8.
The President and the secretary know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position, and are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on our military and civilian personnel as well as our military families. As we approach the expiration of the current continuing resolution, we will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown - should it occur - will impact our military and civilian personnel.
Department of Defense (DoD) Operations During a Shutdown
Operations and activities that are essential to safety, protection of human life, and protection of our national security, are ‘excepted’ from shutting down. The DoD will continue to conduct activities in support of our national security, including operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Japan; Libya-related support operations; and other operations and activities essential to the security of our nation. The department must also continue to provide for the safety of human life and protection of property.
Other excepted activities will include inpatient and essential outpatient care in DoD medical treatment facilities; emergency dental care; non-appropriated funds activities such as mess halls and child care activities; certain legal activities to support ongoing litigation and legal assistance for deployed DoD personnel; contracting and logistics operations that are in support of excepted activities; certain education and training activities to include the DoD education activity schools; and financial management activities necessary to ensure the control and accountability of funds.
In the absence of appropriations, non-excepted activities that have not already been fully funded will need to be shut down in an orderly fashion. In accordance with existing laws and regulations, I will issue more detailed guidance to the department regarding specific activities that are considered excepted or non-excepted. However, the secretary and I understand that the military departments and defense agencies and individual commanders must tailor this guidance to many different situations around the world. Therefore, should there be a government shutdown, DoD personnel will be informed through their chain of command about how a shutdown may affect them personally.
Duty Status
Military personnel are not subject to furlough and will report for duty as normal during the shutdown. Reserve component personnel should refer to the DoD Contingency Guidance document and to their chain of command for more specific information.
Civilian personnel deemed to be performing excepted activities will continue to work during the period of a shutdown.
If there is a government shutdown beginning on Saturday, April 9, all DoD personnel should still report to work on their next scheduled duty day, beginning at their normal duty hours to receive additional instructions.
Civilians will be briefed by their supervisors by Friday, April 8, as to whether their work and responsibilities fall into excepted or non-excepted status, as defined by applicable laws and regulations. Excepted status categories are outlined in the DoD Contingency Guidance document, which is being distributed through the chain of command. If their work and responsibilities are non-excepted, or if they are not needed to carry out excepted work and responsibilities, employees will be furloughed in a non-pay status. Furloughed employees may not telework or volunteer to work.
Generally, contractors performing work on contracts funded prior to a shutdown, whether supporting excepted activities or not, may continue working and will be paid out of the obligated funds, subject to further direction from the contracting officer. New contracts, or increases in funding of existing contracts, needed to support excepted activities may be entered into during the period of a shutdown, but payments under such contracts cannot be made until Congress provides additional funding. Contract personnel should also report to work on Monday, April 11, to be briefed on their status.
Military, Civilian, and Retiree Pay
If the government shuts down due to the absence of funding, the DoD will have no funds to pay military members or civilian employees for the days during which the government is shut down. However, both military and civilian personnel will receive pay for the period worked prior to the shutdown. Military personnel, and civilians occupying excepted status positions and required to work, are entitled to be paid for work performed during the shutdown, and will be paid retroactively once the department receives additional funding. Congress would have to provide authority in order for the department to retroactively pay non-excepted employees for the furloughed period.
Military retirees and annuitants are not paid from annually appropriated funds, and therefore their benefits should continue without interruption.
Additional Resources
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind. The document can be accessed at http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011 . OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses.
The department’s leadership will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses. Additional information regarding military and DoD civilian pay, leave, and other DoD policies applicable to a potential shutdown will be posted on the department’s main website as soon as it becomes available.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, the Department of Defense provides critical services to the American public. Your contributions touch people’s lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply I appreciate your dedication and your expertise. Our decisions concerning which functions are excepted or not excepted are based on government-wide legal, regulatory, and policy guidance as well as our best judgment on how to reconcile our national security requirements with the limitations imposed by a government shutdown. The fact that certain functions are not excepted or that certain personnel may be subject to furlough should not be taken as a statement that the secretary or I or the department do not value those functions or employees. Thank you for your continued service to the department and the nation.”

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

We received the following information from an agency official familiar with the agency’s plans:

We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.  Agency operational plans are still being finalized, but in the event of a government shutdown most USDA activities would be shut down or significantly reduced and most USDA employees would be furloughed.  However, certain USDA activities would continue because they are related to law enforcement, the protection of life and property, or are financed through available funding (such as through user fees).  These include:
·         Meat, poultry and egg inspection services
·         Grain and other commodity inspection, weighing and grading services funded by user fees
·         Inspections for import and export activities to prevent the introduction and dissemination of pests into and out of the U.S.
·         Forest Service law enforcement and fire suppression efforts. 
·         In addition, funds have been made available to continue the Women, Infants and Children and Child Nutrition programs through June, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has sufficient funding to allow benefits to continue through May.
Most other USDA activities would not be continued during a government shutdown.  These activities include:
·         Farm loans and other farm payments
·         Provision of conservation technical and financial assistance
·         Provision of new rural development loans and grants for housing, community facilities, utilities and businesses
·         Agricultural export credit and other agricultural trade development and monitoring activities
·         National Forest System recreation sites across the U.S. which require a Forest Service employee to stay open would be closed to the public.
·         Market news reports, NASS statistics, and other agricultural economic and statistical reports and projections would be discontinued
·         Investigation of packers and stockyards related to fraudulent and anti-competitive activities
·         Assistance for the control of most plant and animal pests and diseases would be discontinued
·         Research facilities would be closed except for the care of animals and plants
·         Most departmental management, administrative and oversight functions, including civil rights, human resources, financial management, audit, legal and information technology activities would be discontinued or severely curtailed.

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U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Overseas, the overwhelming majority of U.S. diplomats are considered essential personnel and are expected to remain at their posts, according to officials familiar with the plans. Exceptions include lower-ranking administrative embassy staff members, many of whom are not American. Many U.S. Agency for International Development operations are expected to continue as normal, because the agency relies on many contractors.

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FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

The FHA is expected to stay open through a shutdown.

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U.S. PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is expected to stay open through a shutdown.

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VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

The VHA is expected to stay open through a shutdown.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

At the Education Department, 4,150 out of 4,465 full- and part-time employees would be furloughed under a shutdown, according to an agency contingency plan.

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U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Updated: 8:53 a.m. ET 4/8/2011

We have recevied the following message from USAID Administrator Raj Shah regarding thea agency’s plan in the event of a government shutdown:

E X E C U T I V E   M E S S A G E
Subject: Memorandum for All Employees
Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the Administration is working day and night to find a solution with which all sides can agree. Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill.
The President and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts Federal employees in a difficult position, and are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals USAID serves.  As we approach the expiration of the current CR, we will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available.  For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown -- should it occur -- will impact Federal employees.
As soon as funding lapses, Federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations, except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This means that some employees will be furloughed and unable to work.  Our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough.  Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and furlough status.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document toaddress some of the questions that I know must be on your mind.  The document can be accessed at www.opm.gov/furlough2011. OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses.  And we will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.  We have established an e-mail box for questions that are not addressed on the OPM website noted above. 
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, USAID is delivering results around the world, and, ultimately, to the American public.  Your contributions touch people's lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply I appreciate your dedication and your expertise.  Thank you for your continued service to USAID and the Nation
Sincerely,
Raj Shah
Administrator

We also received this statement from Chief Operating Officer Sean Carroll:

Should a shutdown occur, USAID’s development work with and on behalf of partners around the world would be significantly curtailed. In the interests of national security and humanitarian response, we will continue much of our work in countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Japan, Libya, Pakistan, and Sudan. But, with less than 20% of our permanent staff on duty at Agency headquarters, and with less-than full staff contingents in our missions abroad, development and our partners would suffer. US Citizens and partners would not be able to access our development library and resources; our efforts to help US small and disadvantaged businesses participate in development work would be temporarily halted; and many USAID-sponsored and international partner activities on critical development issues would be cancelled. We hope that a government shutdown will be averted. And, if not averted, that it is short-lived, so that all of our dedicated staff can continue working on all the development fronts – global health, food security, democracy and governance, inclusive economic growth, education, climate change mitigation and others – that are in our national security interests.

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THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT

Employees would have to report for work as scheduled, because that agency maintains enough funding not linked to the fiscal calendar to continue operating for at least a few days.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

We received the following from a department official familiar with the agency’s plans:

The Administration has expressed that we still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown, but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.
Agency operational plans are still being finalized, but our current understanding is the following:
*       Thanks to advance appropriations (a two-year budget cycle), VA will continue to provide 100 percent of our health care services to enrolled Veterans through VA medical facilities across the country. Veterans' medical appointments will not be canceled or delayed in the event of a partial government-wide shut down.
*       Advance appropriations, received from Congress, accounts for more than 80% of the VA's discretionary appropriations.
*       While there will be a reduction in benefits staffing, VA has taken measures to ensure, in the short-term, that Veterans currently receiving VA benefits will continue to receive those payments on a timely basis and without interruption. 
*       VA will also continue to provide final resting places at our national cemeteries in the event of a partial government-wide shutdown.  Some cemeteries may operate on a modified schedule.  
*       Some VA services that may be suspended in the event of a partial government-wide shut down involve answering consumer inquiries by e-mail, telephone or mail, routine recruiting, hiring and training, and fraud investigations.
*       VA will provide a Veterans Field Guide with a more detailed analysis of the impact on benefits and services when and if a shut down occurs.   
*       In the event of a shut down, we will ask Veterans to keep monitoring VA's web site for additional information, including frequently asked questions and correspondence from the leadership team. 

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THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

In the event of a shutdown, only security and minimal support staff would be allowed to work. Some activities related to the Archives' work with the presidential libraries would also be disrupted.

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THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

If the government were to shut down, a skeleton staff is expected to stay on to print copies of the Congressional Record and other White House documents.

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THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

If the government were to shut down, less than 1 percent of employees would be allowed to work at the start.

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THE CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY COMMISSION

The following is a letter from CPSC Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum to employees:

Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the Administration is willing and ready to work day and night to find a solution with which all sides can agree. Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill.
I understand that the uncertainty of the current situation puts true public servants like you in a very difficult position, and I am very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many of you, as well as the consumers whom we serve. As we approach the expiration of the current CR, senior management will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown-should it occur-will impact all of you.
As soon as funding lapses, federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations, except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This unfortunately means that many of you would be furloughed and unable to work. Our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough. Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and furlough status.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind. The document can be accessed at www.opm.gov/furlough2011. OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses. Senior management and I will also do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.
I cannot thank you enough for the hard work, dedication, and service that you provide to the American public. Your contributions save people’s lives and touch people’s lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply I appreciate your dedication and your expertise. Thank you for your continued service to CPSC and the nation.

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THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

The Bureau will remain open during a government shutdown. This includes tours.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

The following is a statement from Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler:

"The Justice Department's operational plans are still being finalized. We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.
"In the event of a government shutdown, the Department of Justice's critical national security, law enforcement, and prison operations - operations that are necessary to safely protect life and property - will continue.  The Department's highest priority of protecting national security will continue uninterrupted during a shutdown.  All FBI personnel in the field will continue to work, and the Department will be ready to respond to any and all contingencies that might arise during this time.  
"The Department will continue to carry out its traditional law enforcement functions during a shutdown, including efforts to combat drug trafficking and gun violence.  All 116 federal prisons will remain open.  Prison staff will continue to work since they have direct daily inmate custody responsibilities.  Within the Department's main headquarters and in U.S. Attorneys Offices across the country, all criminal litigation will continue without interruption as an activity essential to the safety of human life and the protection of property.
"If there is government shutdown, the Department will be forced to stop or significantly curtail an array of different activities and services that will have a national impact, including most civil litigation, community outreach to victims of crime, and the processing of grants."

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THE CENSUS BUREAU, BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS & ECONOMICS STATISTICS ADMINISTRATION

The Census Bureau’s operational plans are still being finalized, however the current understanding within the agency is that the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Economics and Statistics Administration would be closed in the event of a government shutdown. As a result, economic indicators scheduled for release will not be available. Agency staff, while hopeful that a shutdown will be avoided, are working to ensure that the agency is prepared for all possible scenarios.

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THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Post reporters received the following statement from an agency official familiar with DHS planning:

Agency operational plans are still being finalized, but our current understanding is that DHS' frontline security and law enforcement personnel, including Coast Guard military personnel, would continue with their duties during a shutdown. We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown, but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.

Approximately 80 percent of Homeland Security’s roughly 235,000 employees would remain on duty. 

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THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT

Interior Department has released a fact sheet detailing what employees can expect in the event of a shutdown (pdf). Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff has sent the following statement regarding preparations:

We still believe that there is the opportunity for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, but are working to prepare for all possible scenarios.
Visitors and potential visitors to national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands should be advised that, in the event of a government shutdown, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management will close and secure park, refuge and visitor facilities on public lands.
Visitor activities that require a permit, including public events, will not be allowed or will be cancelled or postponed.  Visitor centers will be closed and access to park areas denied, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Independence Hall, Alcatraz, and the Washington Monument.  Visitors using overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified and given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements.  The National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and some Bureau of Land Management roads will be closed except when they are necessary as thruways.
Limited personnel needed to protect life and property on public lands, such as law enforcement, emergency services and firefighting personnel, will be exempted from furlough.  Some administrative offices for the bureaus will be minimally staffed and many will be closed.  Ordinary business of these bureaus will be extremely curtailed.
The land management agencies will be providing additional information to the public as they finalize their contingency plans."

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THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT

The following is a statement from Assistant Secretary of Management Dan Tangherlini:

Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the Administration is willing and ready to work day and night to find a solution with which all sides can agree.
Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill.  The President, the Secretary and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position, and are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals our agency serves.  As we approach the expiration of the current CR, we will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available.  For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown - should it occur -- will impact Federal employees.
As soon as funding lapses, Federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations, except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This means that some employees will be furloughed and unable to work.  Our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough.  Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and furlough status.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind.  The document can be accessed at www.opm.gov/furlough2011//www.opm.gov/furlough2011/ .  OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses.  And we will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, Treasury and its Bureaus provide critical services to the American public.  Your contributions touch people's lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply we appreciate your dedication and your expertise.  Thank you for your continued service to the Treasury Department and the Nation.

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By Washington Post Editors  |  05:11 PM ET, 04/08/2011

Categories:  Government Shutdown

 
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