wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Politics

Read In

Now Viewing: People from around the country looking at Post Politics section

See what's being read across the country ›

Social Surface: Politics

Federal Eye
Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 04/06/2011

Government shutdown: What they’re telling the rank and file

Updated 6:09 p.m. ET

Official messages acknowledging an impending government shutdown are arriving in government inboxes this morning,with Cabinet secretaries and other agency heads expected to start explaining to the rank and file what would happen if the government shuts its doors.

The messages started going out late Tuesday to employees at the National Institutes of Health and other parts of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Despite the ongoing budget negotiations, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told workers that “Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that I plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress fail to pass a funding bill.”

“Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your supervisor no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and furlough status,” she added.

Kenneth Baer, a senior official with the Office of Management and Budget, said the White House is now encouraging agencies to communicate with employees about the impact of what a funding lapse “would mean and where they can find answers to many of the questions they may have. As the week progresses, we will continue to take necessary steps to prepare for the possibility that Congress is unable to come to agreement and a lapse in government funding ensues.”

(RELATED: What can I expect from a government shutdown?)

Here are the message sent so far by HHS, Commerce, Energy, Treasury Labor, Interior the EPA and Consumer Products Safety Commission. We’ll add more as they arrive. Read them below:

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:

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 ready and willing to work day and night to find a solution with which Congress can agree. Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that I plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress fail 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 our Department serves. As we approach the expiration of the current CR, our leadership team 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 supervisor 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. And our leadership team 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, HHS provides critical health services to Americans and vital human services to some of most vulnerable citizens. 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 the Department and the Nation.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Sebelius

(RELATED: How a shutdown would impact federal pay and beenfits)

FROM THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT:

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 and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts Federal employees in a difficult position. I understand what’s at stake – for the individuals who work here, their families, and the businesses and citizens who count on your help – and so does President Obama.

As we approach the expiration of the current continuing resolution, our leadership team will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. Guidance about Commerce Department employee services will be forthcoming later this week. 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. OPM will provide additional pertinent information for Federal employees as the week progresses. Commerce’s leadership team 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, the Commerce Department 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. Thank you for your continued service to the Department and the Nation.

— Gary Locke

FROM THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT:

Memorandum

To: Department of the Interior Employees

From: David J. Hayes /s/

Deputy Secretary

Subject: Budget Situation – CORRECTED LINK TO OPM BELOW

On behalf of Secretary Salazar, I want to provide a brief update on the current budget situation, which is on all of our minds and is a source of significant uncertainty right now.

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, Secretary Salazar, 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 and their families, as well as the groups and individuals our Agency serves. As we approach the expiration of the current continuing resolution, which provides funding through midnight April 8, we will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to share some initial 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 8, 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 are on our minds. The document can be accessed at www.opm.gov/furlough2011. The OPM will provide additional pertinent information for Federal employees as the week progresses. Secretary Salazar and agency leaders, and all of us here at the Department will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.

As always, I want to thank you for your extraordinary service to our Country. From the role we play as stewards of America’s great outdoors to our support for tribal nations and island communities, and our progress on the new energy frontier, we provide critical services to the American public. Our contributions – as individuals and as a team – are making a difference in lives across America, and are helping make our Country a better place for future generations.

Thank you for your professionalism and your commitment to public service.

— David Hayes

FROM THE LABOR DEPARTMENT:

Update on Shutdown Situation

Dear Colleagues;

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 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 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. 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, our department 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. Thank you for your continued service to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Nation.

Sincerely,

Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Dear Colleagues,

The continuing budget situation is a matter of obvious concern for everyone at the EPA and all of our colleagues in Federal government. My first priority is to provide you with as much information as possible to ensure you are fully aware of ongoing efforts, and fully informed on how any decisions may affect you, and our mission to protect the health and the environment of the American people.

Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he wants to avoid a government shutdown. In the face of tough choices, the goal has always been to maintain core services and ensure that the important work done by the EPA and other Federal agencies continues uninterrupted. That is why the Administration has been working day and night to find a solution on which all sides can agree – work that continues today. 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 by Friday of this week.

The President and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position. We are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals our agency serves. I have pledged to keep you informed throughout this process, and 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 basic 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 perform activities funded by annual appropriations, except those activities related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This means that some employees will be furloughed and unable to work, and our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough. Should it become necessary to implement contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th about your 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 http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011. OPM will provide additional information for federal employees as the week progresses, and we’ll continue to do our best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.

It is through your hard work and dedication that the EPA is able to safeguard the health and the environment of millions of Americans. Your contributions touch people’s lives in significant ways, and I am deeply appreciative of everything that you do. Thank you for your continued service to the EPA and the nation.

Sincerely,

Lisa P. Jackson

FROM THE CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY COMMISSION:

Dear CPSC 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.

With kind regards,

Inez [Tenenbaum, CPSC Commissioner]

FROM THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT:

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/. 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.

Sincerely,

Dan Tangherlini, Assistant Secretary for Management/Chief Financial Officer and Chief Performance Officer

FROM THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT:

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT

FROM: STEVEN CHU

SUBJECT: OPERATING IN THE ABSENCE OF APPROVED 2011 APPROPRIATIONS

You probably have heard about the possibility of a Federal government-wide shutdown and employee furloughs beginning April 9, 2011, if a new fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding bill is not passed by Congress and signed by the President by this Friday evening. 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 accordingly 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. 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 current situation may impact 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 including safety of human life or protection of property. Depending on how quickly a new appropriations bill is enacted, some DOE employees could be furloughed and unable to work. However, unlike most other federal agencies, the Department has no-year appropriations. This would allow us to continue operating for a limited time. Therefore, if a new funding bill is not enacted Friday, all DOE Federal employees are still expected to report to work as usual on their next scheduled work day.

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 regarding the designation of your position and furlough status. Again, we want to emphasize that it will not be necessary to furlough any Department Federal employees early next week as a consequence of the expiration of the current continuing resolution at midnight April 8, 2011.

However, we know that you remain concerned about the current unsettled budget situation. With that in mind, we have attached answers to frequently asked questions associated with a general shutdown of the Federal government in these circumstances. In addition, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of your questions at www.opm.gov/furlough2011. Further, I would encourage you to raise any additional questions with your supervisor or your Human Resources office. We will keep you informed of any new developments regarding the likelihood of a shutdown of either part or all of the Department which would trigger employee furloughs.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, our department 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. Thank you for your continued service to the Department and the Nation.

RELATED: Federal Eye government shutdown coverage

By  |  08:01 AM ET, 04/06/2011

Categories:  Government Shutdown

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company