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Officials Discuss DOD’s Government Shutdown Plans

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 – Military personnel will report to duty as normal if the U.S. government shuts down tomorrow night, Pentagon officials said today.

The department has identified tasks that must continue if or when a government shutdown occurs, said Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan.

“Who is affected comes down to defining what constitutes operations and activities that are essential to safety, protection of human life and protection of our national security,” he said. All military personnel will be “excepted” from shutting down. In addition, certain civilian employees, who work on crucial duties, also will be excepted.

The Department of Defense will continue to conduct activities in support of U.S. national defense and national security. This includes operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and Libya and related support operations. The department also will conduct other operations and activities considered essential to U.S. national security, Lapansaid.

Other excepted activities include in-patient and essential out-patient care in DOD medical treatment facilities, emergency dental care, non-appropriated fund activities such as mess halls and child care facilities, certain legal activities to support on-going litigation and legal assistance for deployed U.S. personnel, contracting and logistics operations that are in support of activities that are considered excepted, certain training and education activities to include the Department of Defense Education Activity schools and financial activities necessary to ensure the control and accountability of funds.

“In the absence of appropriations, not excepted activities that have not been fully funded will need to be shutdown in an orderly fashion,” Lapan said. If there is a government shutdown, leaders will inform employees how the shutdown affects them personally.

Military personnel are not affected by a furlough and will report for duty as normal. Civilian personnel that are deemed to be performing excepted activities will continue to work during the period.

If the government has to shut down due to a lack of funding, the DOD will have no funds to pay military members or civilian employees for the time the government is shut down. However, both military and civilian personnel will receive pay for the period worked prior to the shutdown.

“In general, if the government shuts down –- for however long it shuts down –- there are no funds appropriated to pay government employees,” said Doug Wilson, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. “If you are required to work –- as all men and women in uniform are required to work –- then there is a legal obligation to ultimately pay those men and women. When that would happen would be timed to the restoration of appropriated funds.”

Once funds restart, military personnel and all civilians occupying excepted status positions are entitled to be paid for the work performed during the shutdown, “and they will be paid retroactively,” Lapan said.

DOD personnel who do not work during the shutdown will not get paid, he said.

“However, in past instances Congress has appropriated funds to pay those civilians,” Lapan said.

 

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Related Sites:
Shutdown Memo
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Comments

Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

4/8/2011 8:23:18 AM
I have been a government employee for almost seven years. I retired from active duty in 2003 so I've been on both sides of the government issue. What I don't understand is why didn't the budget get passed months ago instead of letting the issue fester until now? I'm quite sure the time to pass the annual budget comes around the same time every year. What I also don't understand is why don't our two politcal parties work together for the good of the country instead of making EVERYTHING a political statement. Shutting down the government will still cost money to do and the revenue normally gained from tourism to our national parks/museums, etc. will be lost. More importantly, those of us NONESSENTIAL government workers will be withiout a paycheck for lord knows how long. I'll be if the congress and senate didn't get paid during the shutdown, they'd find a quick solution or compromise to passing the budget.
- Carmen Walker, Fort Bragg, NC

4/7/2011 11:03:51 PM
my husband, an Airman, is scheduled to take leave starting April 16th. He has had this scheduled for a month now. Does he now have to cancel his leave during the shutdown because of the Antideficiency Act?
- Ashley, SC

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