Government Shutdown – How Will it Affect Contracts?

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Since 2015, agencies are required to keep and regularly update their documented shutdown plans. These plans vary significantly from agency to agency. Here’s how a few of them have responded:

DHS (Dept.Homeland Security):  The agency has a notice to FedBizOpps, outlining their plans. Some planned procurements may be cancelled or postponed; some existing contracts may be delayed, stopped, reduced in scope, or terminated. Contract invoice payments may be delayed. The Contracting Officer for each affected contract will give the contractor notice on how or whether to proceed. “Unless the contracting officer provides a formal notification to the contrary, all DHS contractors must continue to comply with all terms, conditions, requirements and deliveries specified in their contract(s).”

DMA (Defense Media Activity Communication):  their FedBizOpps notice states that unless you  receive a formal notice to the contrary, you should continue to comply with the terms, conditions, requirements and deliveries specified in your contract.  If you run out of funding, or your contract is about to expire, you must contact the agency via email, stop work immediately, and wait for guidance. Certain contracts are excepted, such as those involving protecting property, or certain IT support functions, and they will get a specific notification from the DMA. If your Contract requires access to DMA facilities, you may need to stop work if the facilities are not accessible. Most DMA employees will not be working during the shutdown, so there won’t be access to voice mail, e-mail, fax, or postal mail. No payments will be made during the shutdown.

DOD (Dept. Defense): Their Guidance for Continuation Operations  document ensures that Active duty service members will keep working, while DoD civilians won’t, unless they’ve specifically been exempted. All DOD  members must cancel Temporary Duty travel. Contractors should keep working, as long as their program is fully funded.

GSA: the agency’s  most recent Shutdown Plan was updated last summer.  Several GSA offices are funded through working capital funds, meaning that they can continue working during a shutdown.  Their Technology Transformation Services will also would be able to continue activities, but their Office of Products and Programs would be subject to a shutdown furlough. Minimal personnel would be excepted, to keep USA.gov and national call centers running.

NASA: They plan to continue to support the International Space Station and any operational satellite missions, but will stop work on any yet to be launched missions. Citizens won’t have access to NASA Television or the agency’s website.

HUD (Housing & Urban Development): Their shutdown plan will maintain access to standard HUD applications, help desk operations, and systems related to accounting and insurance.

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