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Message from the NASA Administrator: Planning for an Orderly Shutdown

Status Report From: NASA History Division
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

image Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the Administration is willing and ready to work day and night to find a solution with which all sides can agree. Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that we plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill.

The President and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position, and we're very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals our agency serves. As we approach the expiration of the current CR, our NASA leadership team will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown - should it occur -- will impact federal employees.

As soon as funding lapses, federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations, except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This means that some employees will be furloughed and unable to work. Our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough. Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive formal notice from your manager no later than Friday, April 8th regarding the designation of your position and furlough status.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind. The document can be accessed at http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011. OPM will provide additional pertinent information for federal employees as the week progresses. And we will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of you, our agency provides critical services to the American public. Your contributions touch people's lives in so many significant ways, and I want you to know how deeply I appreciate your dedication and your expertise. We're a determined and resilient team and we'll get through this!

Thank you for your continued service to NASA and the Nation.

Charlie B.

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