United States Department of Commerce Plan for Orderly Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations


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Annual funding for the government expires on September 30.  The Administration strongly believes that a lapse in funding should not occur.   The Department must be prepared for a potential lapse in funding that would necessitate a significant reduction in operations.

Prior to a potential lapse in funding, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires the Department to submit a draft plan for agency operations in the absence of appropriations (a “shutdown plan”). The plan will likely be modified with additional guidance from the Office of Personnel Management and OMB, as the situation develops, and may be changed by the Department, as circumstances warrant.

This plan complies with the guidance provided by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce.

All employees who are Presidentially Appointed, Senate Confirmed will remain on duty.

Services Available During a Lapse in Funding

In compliance with the restrictions of the Anti-Deficiency Act, the Department of Commerce will maintain the following services and activities during a lapse in FY15 appropriations:

  • Weather, water, and climate observing, prediction, forecast, warning, and support
  • Law enforcement activities for the protection of marine fisheries
  • Fisheries management activities including quota monitoring, observer activities, and regulatory actions to prevent overfishing
  • Essential natural resource damage assessment activities associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident
  • Water level data for ships entering U.S. ports, critical nautical chart updates and accurate position information.
  • Patent and trademark application processing
  • Operation of the national timing and synchronization infrastructure as well as the National Vulnerability Database
  • Maintenance, continuity and protection of certain research property and critical data records
  • All services of the National Technical Information Service
  • Export enforcement – the ongoing conduct of criminal investigations, and prosecutions, and coordination with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies in furtherance of our national security
  • Budget operations required to support excepted activities under a shutdown, such as tracking of obligations and funds control

The following services and activities will not be available during a lapse in FY15 appropriations:

  • Most research activities at NIST and NOAA (excluding real-time regular models on research computers used for Hurricane and FAA flight planning
  • Assistance and support to recipients of grant funding
  • Technical oversight of non-mission essential contracts
  • Services and activities provided by:
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis
    • Economic Development Administration
    • Economics and Statistics Administration
    • Minority Business Development Agency
    • Bureau of the Census
  • Most services and activities provided by the International Trade Administration

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Last updated: 2015-09-28 17:04

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