Posted: 9:59 am PT
Updated: Jan 22, 2018; 3:12 pm PT
Update: Late January 19, the State Department released its Guidance on Operations during a Lapse in Appropriations which supersedes the previous guidance issued December 9, 2017. USAID’s guidance released at 7:30 pm on January 19 is available here.
Related to our prior post — As Govt #Shutdown Looms Large, @StateDept Still “Reviewing All Available Options” #MissingGuidance — we’ve learned that Acting DGHR and “M Coordinator” Bill Todd sent out a message to State Department employees this morning concerning planning for a potential lapse in appropriations.
He tells employees that “The Administration strongly believes that a lapse in funding should not occur. There is enough time to prevent a lapse in appropriations.”
He talks about “prudent management” and working on updating the agency’s contingency plans for “executing an orderly shutdown” should there be a lapse in appropriations:
“… prudent management requires that we be prepared for all contingencies, including the possibility that a lapse could occur. A lapse would mean that a number of government activities would cease due to a lack of appropriated funding, and that a number of employees would be temporarily furloughed. To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations.”
The potential shutdown is tonight and Tillerson’s godpod people are still working on guidance that should have been out a week ago?
For posts whose workday doesn’t start on Monday but starts tomorrow and Sunday, what are they supposed to do with less than 12 hours to go? The December 2017 guidance says that “Posts that normally operate on Saturdays or Sundays will immediately commence procedures.”
But … but … what procedures are they supposed to commence immediately if/when the shutdown happens tonight?
The message from A/DGHR and M Coordinator Bill Todd ends with “The uncertainty of the current circumstances puts our workforce in a difficult situation, and should a lapse occur, it could impose hardships on many employees as well as the people that we serve every day.” Apparently, he also expressed commitment to providing employees “with updated and timely information on any further developments.”
Uh-oh. Remember how many folks were furloughed in 2013?
We’ve heard that there are overseas posts already telling employees to just show up on Monday and that they will be told then who will be furloughed. We have not heard yet what will happen to posts that opens tomorrow and Sunday. Are we going to see updated guidance at 11:59 pm tonight? Will folks be working on those furlough lists/letters after midnight tonight?
- State Department’s Shutdown and Furlough Updates (Oct 3, 2013)
- Shutdown News: State Department Stays Open and Operational. For Now. (Oct 1, 2013)
- Projected Shutdown Cost: Over $65 Million Per Week of Lost Revenue in Passports & Visas (2011)
- Congress Govt Shutdown Averted by Cowardly Reps Who Will Do This Again, and Again in the Near Future (2011)
- State Dept Shutdown Details: Non-Emergency Consular Services To Stop, Routine Visa Services to be Suspended (2011)
- State Dept Shutdown Details: What Overseas Operations Will Continue? Which Posts Will Remain at 100% Staffing? (2011)
- State Dept Shutdown Details: 30-40% Excepted Domestic Employees, Significantly Higher Excepted Employees Overseas (2011)
- Govt Shutdown: State Dept Making Contingency Plans But No Details Until 11:59 on Friday Night? (2011)
- Govt Shutdown Down the Wire, AFSA Rally on April 8 to Protest Shutdown (2011)
- Oh, yeah! U.S. Lawmakers Want Paychecks Even in a Govt Shutdown (2011)
- Senate Bill Blocks Pay For Lawmakers and President During Govt Shutdown (2011)
- Protests here, there and everywhere and the US Government shutdown looms large (2011)