Congress’ short-term spending bill signed on Jan. 22, 2018 ended the nearly three-day government shutdown. As this spending bill only appropriated funding for government operations for three weeks, however, and does not resolve the underlying political disputes, it is unlikely to put an end to shutdown politics for good, or even for long.
Participants in the federal market would be wise to review the issues and challenges presented by shutdowns in order to remain prepared for what may come.
What Activities Can Continue During a Shutdown?
During a shutdown, federal contractors must determine whether they may continue performing. A government shutdown is not a self-executing stop-work order; a shutdown itself does not suspend a company’s obligations to perform or the government’s obligation to pay for performance. What matters is whether a contractor’s work requires any new appropriation or authorization of spending, and whether critical government personnel, facilities, and resources are available.
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Also see DoD’s Jan. 18, 2018 Shutdown Guidance (Jan. 18 2018) at: https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/GUIDANCE-FOR-CONTINUATION-OF-OPERATIONS-DURING-A-LAPSE-OF-APPROPRIATIONS.pdf,