by Geoff Corey | September 30, 2014
In light of the federal government shutdown, the following are some resources you might find useful regarding the impact on the design and construction industry.
This memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget has some of the most detailed pieces of information, much of it focused on government contracts. It states that “Normally, routine, ongoing operational and administrative activities relating to contract or grant administration (including payment processing) cannot continue when there is a lapse in funding.”
This in-depth Government Executive article reports that while no new contracts could be awarded, contracts with funds already appropriated from 2013 or an earlier fiscal year can continue. “Since many companies already have been awarded contracts paid with prior-year appropriations, that work will continue provided that there’s no need for continuous government supervision or direction.”
The Professional Services Center, a contractors trade group, has put together a Government Shutdown Resource Center which includes links to most official documents released by government agencies.
Bloomberg News has reported that vendors working on government projects may continue but payments could become delayed – especially if the shutdown lasts a while. This could especially harm small businesses who may want to meet with their bankers to ensure access to credit if government payments become delayed (subscription required).
Transportation Issues Daily offers a good summary of how the Federal Transit Authority would be affected, including suspended reviews, grant funds not being obligated and furloughs of the staff in charge of making some grant payments. Hurricane Sandy activities – funded from the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act – would continue.
This interactive article from The Washington Post provides an overview of what kind of cuts to expect from each federal agency.
WTOP reports on private contractors worrying about having to make temporary layoffs until a deal is reached. Some are also concerned about the effect on staff morale when many think they’re about to lose their job.
Federal News Radio reports the Department of Defense is working off of their contingency plan they developed in 2011 to prepare for a shutdown. In that scenario, about 400,000 civilians would be placed on “non-pay, non-work” status, although they believe contractors working on contracts signed and paid for with 2013 dollars would be unaffected in the short-term.
This NBC article reports that the Federal Housing Administration would stop underwriting or approving new loans, and “action on government-backed loans to small businesses would be suspended.”
USA Today published this quick read on 66 common questions about a shutdown answered. The article says that disaster response will not be affected, but “non-disaster” grants like state and local preparedness programs would be suspended. Additionally, some federal loans for small business owners, rural communities and families buying a home will be suspended.