FCC Plan for Orderly Shutdown In the Event of Lapse in Appropriations
Via FCC Headlines
Sep 28, 2015
Generally, during a shutdown all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease. Suspended activities include, among many others: Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided.
When this shutdown plan is activated, all FCC employees will be instructed to report to work the first business day following a lapse in appropriations if necessary to conduct orderly shutdown of operations. FCC estimates that the time required for each employee to accomplish an orderly shutdown will be not more than four (4) hours with very rare exceptions detailed below. During this time, all but full-time furlough excepted FCC employees will receive a notice of decision to furlough in the form of a letter attached to an e-mail. The notice of decision will inform employees to cease regular work activities. Employees being furloughed also will be provided shutdown instructions advising them to engage only in shutdown activities, which include items such as:
- Securing the work area and locking up materials and files;
- Cancelling travel plans and scheduled training;
- Cancelling internal and external meetings and informing attendees;
- Cancelling FCC sponsored events and notifying participants, and
Placing out-of-office messages on email and voicemail.
With very rare exceptions detailed below, FCC estimates orderly shutdown will be completed in approximately four (4) hours – one half-day for planning purposes.
FCC expects that approximately 1700 employees will be on-board before the implementation of the plan.
Up to five (5) employees will be retained under the plan because their compensation is financed by a resource other than annual appropriations. These are full-time employees. They include the FCC Chairman and four Commissioners.
Up to One hundred twenty (120) employees will be retained under the plan because their salary and expenses are not funded out of annual appropriations that will lapse on October 1 and they will be supporting auction-related activities.
Up to 13 employees, not otherwise exempt, will be retained to protect life and property. These are full-time employees, working shifts to cover 24 hour and 18 hour operations. Up to two (2) employees working per shift at each location. Staff of the FCC Operations Center handle emergency contacts for agency. Staff of the High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Center operate the high frequency antenna system used to protect life and property. One (1) management employee will oversee and coordinate regularly with both operations, and their respective shifts, to help identify and respond to imminent threats to life or property.
Up to two (2) employees will be retained to conduct interference detection, mitigation, and disaster response operations wherever they may be needed. These are full-time employees strategically located across the country who will resolve imminent threats to the safety of life or property.
Up to nine (9) employees will be retained for critical oversight/protection of life or property.*
Up to nine (9) employees will be retained to perform treaty activity instrumental in the discharge of the President’s constitutional power.
Five (5) employees will be retained for critical Information Technology (IT) issues. These are full time employees.
After the plan has been implemented, the 163 employees listed above, or 10% of those on-board before the plan was implemented, will have been retained. The remaining 1537 employees, or 90.5% of those on-board before the plan was implemented, will have been furloughed and sent home.
In addition to the employees listed above, the following contractors will be retained to protect life or property and support auction-related activity:
- 24/7 IT support to monitor system – 15 full-time contractors, 12 per day working varied shifts
- Headquarters (HQ) Security Guards, eight (8) contractors (8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Mon thru Fri) and five (5) at all other times
- Field Security Guards, two (2) contractors (Gettysburg, PA and Columbia, MD)(5:30 am to 8:00 pm, Mon thru Fri)
- Security Patrol Service for Honolulu (drive by twice daily)
- 75 full-time IT contractors needed to support auction-related activity.
The following employees, otherwise in furlough status, may be called upon to work on an as-needed basis during the furlough due to the nature of their responsibilities:
- Office of Inspector General (OIG) Senior Management Official* - staff of two (2)
- OIG staff to respond to FBI and DOJ - up to five (5) staff may be called upon
- EB Field Supervisors* and EB Field Staff to respond to emergencies involving the protection of life or property (e.g., interference with aircraft frequencies)
- COMSEC Personnel, staff of two (2)
- Others employees or contractors as needed for immediate protection of life or property, such as to handle an unanticipated natural disaster, computer security issue, or other emergency
Ninety-six (96) employees will be retained, working as needed, because their salary and expenses are not funded out of annual appropriations that will lapse on October 1 and they will be supporting auction-related activities.
Up to thirty-six (36) employees will be retained for protection of life or property, working as needed.*
- Two (2) employees will be retained for critical Information Technology (IT) issues, working as needed.
*Authorized to designate other staff to work on as needed basis
Orderly Shutdown Activity
OMD Payroll/Financial Operations, staff of five (5), to process payroll as needed.
Resumption of Orderly Operations
Prior to the shutdown, employees will be instructed to listen to public broadcasts or
news that a CR or appropriation has been signed. Employees will be expected to return to work on the next scheduled work day after the furlough has ended.
Supervisors may approve accrued annual leave, compensable time-off, or credit hours
in the event employees have problems returning to work on their next scheduled work
*"As needed” means that staff may be called upon to answer questions or provide guidance on matters relating to the protection of life or property or the orderly shutdown of operations, or to perform these excepted activities as the case requires. They will not work a regular schedule.
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