Editor’s Note: the following information was shared with FedSmith.com by one of our SBA readers. We are providing it here in the hopes that it will be useful for our other readers as well.
Lapse in Funding Update
While we remain hopeful that a budget agreement will be reached before Monday and SBA operations will continue, it is increasingly likely that there will be a temporary lapse in funding. As a result, we encourage all employees to read the following carefully, and in its entirety. The following guidance represents an extraordinary team effort across the agency, including frequent communications over the last few days with our AFGE Council 228 Union partners. The entire agency leadership team remains committed to communicating with all of you during this time.
There are multiple ways for employees to remain up to date on the latest developments regarding a lapse in funding:
- SBA’s Office of Human Capital Management has established a toll free hotline that employees can call beginning at 12:01am Saturday in the event a budget agreement is not reached. Employees may call 1-800-488-6336 for updates on the operation status of the agency.
- The Office of Personnel Management web site will continue to be updated even in the event of a lapse in funding. SBA employees may visit www.opm.gov/status for information about operating status of the federal government.
- SBA may use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to communicate with SBA employees once an agreement is reached with information about when employees are expected to return to their duty station. Employees can access the EAS system from the “Yes” Page or by clicking here to ensure their information is up to date.
What are MY shutdown responsibilities Monday if a shutdown occurs and I am a furloughed employee?
All official furlough notices will be issued by SBA to your sba.gov email account. However, we can make arrangements for employees to be provided their furlough notice through a personal email account or U.S. mail, just make sure that your supervisor has the correct address(es).
All furloughed employees are responsible for orderly shutdown activities as directed by their supervisor. Supervisors are expected to detail those duties to employees today so that employees can determine whether they must report to their duty station Monday in the event of a shutdown.
Therefore, if employees can receive their furlough notice without reporting to their duty station AND are informed that they do not need to report to fulfill their shut down duties they are not required to report on Monday.
If you cannot complete your shutdown responsibilities remotely you will be required to report to your duty station.
Monday, you will receive guidance for your out of office messages for both your email and voice mail.
Reminder, all shutdown activities must be completed by 12:30pm local time on Monday – so be sure to notify your supervisor of your contact information well in advance if you are choosing to receive your furlough notice remotely on your sba.gov account, at your personal email account or in the U.S. mail.
Reminder for Furloughed Employees
If an agreement is not reached, beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Monday (local time), furloughed employees will no longer be permitted to utilize your government email or other federal resources. Please know that use of federal resources while you are on furlough status is prohibited by law and is considered a criminal offense. Please note that while furloughed – you may NOT represent the agency in any formal or informal capacity.
OPM has made available information for furloughed employees at www.opm.gov/furlough.
Despite our hope that an agreement will be reached, the uncertainty means we must take steps to postpone all events, meetings and travel occurring between Saturday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 13. Any employee-scheduled to travel for events or meetings on those dates should cancel those plans at this time. District staff will receive guidance from headquarters on how and what to communicate with attendees of those events today.
If you have scheduled travel Thursday or Friday of next week please notify your manager by COB today to ensure that if additional postponement of official travel is required it can be done in an orderly fashion next week.
SBA Operations Plan
The new SBA operations contingency plan is available online at: http://www.sba.gov/content/plan-operating-event-lapse-appropriations