Updates – Government Shutdown December 2018/January 2019

The federal government is currently in a partial shutdown as of 12:01 am Dec. 21.

Please refer back to this page for the most up-to-date information from relevant departments at Duke University and for memoranda (as relevant and available) from federal agencies. 

For email notifications on the status of a potential shutdown and other relevant federal policy issues, please sign up for the DC Digest here

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Duke’s Director of Government Relations Melissa Vetterkind at melissa.vetterkind@duke.edu 


Update: 1/14/19

As of the morning of January 14, 2019, the federal government remains in a partial shutdown for all unfunded departments and agencies. While negotiations between leaders in Congress and the Administration continue, they have yet to reach an agreement to allow the affected agencies to resume normal operations.

Duke’s Office of Government Relations (OGR) is closely monitoring the situation, and providing updates via their website. We will continue to provide updates to the grants management community as they are available. 

Please note that while certain federal departments and agencies remained closed, Grants.gov and many other electronic application portals remain functional. Therefore, Grant Managers and Principal Investigators should continue to submit proposals and progress reports as required. Submitted materials would be reviewed by the federal entity upon resumption of normal operations. If you learn of a federal reporting system that is unavailable and preventing the submission of a progress report, please notify your applicable pre-award office. 

In general, work should continue on all federal grants; agencies would be required to notify Duke University if work should be stopped or curtailed.  If you receive specific sponsor guidance, please notify your pre-award office immediately. 

a.          It is likely that each federal contract will receive specific guidance as to whether work can continue or if a stoppage is in effect.  If you manage federal contracts, please work with your PI and be on the lookout for this communication; please also inform your pre-award office immediately upon any communication.

The below departments and agencies are currently shut down due to a lapse in appropriations:

For a full list of agency Contingency Plans, please visit the federal Office of Management & Budget website:https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/agency-contingency-plans/.

The following agencies are not affected by the current shutdown and are therefore operating normally:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services (including the National Institutes of Health)

These agencies are not affected by a lapse in funding and have continued operations.

Thank you for your continued patience during this time. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs or your applicable pre-award office.

Jim Luther
Associate Vice President, RCC & Federal Reimbursement


Update: 1/2/19

As of January 2, 2019, the federal government remains in a partial shutdown for all unfunded departments and agencies. The 115th Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, adjourned last week without reaching an agreement that would allow the affected agencies to resume normal operations. The 116th Congress will convene tomorrow, January 3, 2019, but leaders in Congress have yet to announce an agreement that would have the support of both chambers and the President.

         The Office of Government Relations (OGR) is closely monitoring the situation. We will continue to provide updates to the grants management community as they are available. 

        As a reminder, the following agencies currently lack funding and are therefore operating on a limited basis:

        *    NSF,

        *    DHS,

        *    Department of Commerce (including NOAA),

        *    the Environmental Protection Agency,

        *    Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and

        *    NASA

        By this time, agencies affected by the shutdown should have issued communications regarding their operating status. For specific agency Contingency Plans, please visit the OMB website:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/agency-contingency-plans/

        The following agencies are not affected by the current shutdown and are therefore operating normally:

        *    Department of Defense

        *    Department of Education

        *    Department of Energy

        *    Department of Health and Human Services (including the National Institutes of Health)

        These agencies are not affected by a lapse in funding and have continued operations.

        Jim Luther

        Associate Vice President-RCC & Federal Reimbursement


Update: 12/27/18

Research Administration Community –

As you are aware, the federal government entered a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday, December 21, 2018. At that time, nine federal departments and several agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), were    directed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to cease non-essential operations.     

The following agencies currently lack funding and are therefore operating on a limited basis:   

  • NSF
  • DHS
  • Department of Commerce (including NOAA)
  • the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • NASA

As of Thursday, December 27, 2018, leaders in Congress and the President have not announced an agreement that would allow the affected government agencies to resume normal operations. The Senate and House of Representatives are set to return to Washington; however, neither chamber is expected to vote on a funding deal without providing 24 hours notices to their members. We will continue to monitor legislative and executive actions, and will provide further updates as available.       

Thank you,       

Jim Luther   

Associate Vice President-RCC & Federal Reimbursement


Update: 12/22/18

 EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET WASHINGTON, D. C. 20503 

THE DIRECTOR 

December 21, 2018 

M-19-06 

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES 

FROM: Mick Mulvaney Director 

SUBJECT: Status of Agency Operations 

Appropriations provided under the Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019, and for other purposes (P.L. 115-298) expire at 11:59 pm tonight, December 21, 2018. As of December 21st, the only full-year appropriations Acts that have been enacted are the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 115-244) and the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 115-245). Because legislation providing fiscal year 2019 appropriations for agencies not funded by those bills expires on December 21, 2018, there will be a lapse for such agencies beginning on December 22, 2018. Unfortunately, the Congress has not taken action to pass an acceptable bill. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. 

Although we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration, employees should report to work for their next regularly scheduled tour of duty to undertake orderly shutdown activities. We will issue another memorandum reopening government functions once the President has signed a bill providing for appropriations. 

Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and 0MB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people. 


Update: 12/21/2018

Office of Government Relations: Further Guidance on Pending US Government Shutdown

Dear Colleagues,

The Duke Office of Government Relations is closely monitoring the budget negotiations in Washington to determine the implications of a possible federal government shutdown on Duke and its activities.  If such a shutdown takes place, it will begin midnight December 22, 2018.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) instructs all federal agencies and congressional offices to prepare and periodically update contingency plans for internal use. The existing “OMB Agency Contingency Plans”, required by law to be updated every two years, are available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/agency-contingency-plans/

Our Government Relations team in Durham and Washington, DC, will continue to watch for further developments and communications from the federal agencies, but it is possible that official guidance will not become available until after the shutdown takes place. As information is received, we will share it with members of the Duke community through Duke Today. In the meantime, if you have meetings or events planned with federal officials during the next few weeks or have time-sensitive business (i.e. deadlines), it is recommended that contingency plans be considered before the close of business on Friday, December 21, 2018.

With regard to federal funded sponsored research, a communication has been sent to all grant and business managers from University Finance.  Here are the most critical elements:

–          Federal systems supported or maintained by agencies affected by the shutdown may not be available and/or not fully supported. We expect GRANTS.gov, a website maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to remain operational.

–          New awards from agencies affected by the shutdown will likely be held. This includes the Departments of Commerce (includes NOAA), Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. Awards from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense would not be impacted by the shutdown. 

–          Some federal contracts will be directly impacted and the Contracting Officer may direct you to stop all work; please be on the lookout for communication from your CO and forward to the applicable pre-award office and Nate Martinez-Wayman in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Following are two publications from OMB and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) regarding federal government shutdowns for your reference.

Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects (CRS)

Section 124 – Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations (OMB)

If you have further questions, I encourage you to contact Jim Luther or Melissa Vetterkind.

————————————————————

Michael Schoenfeld
Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations
Duke University


Update: 12/21/2018

Research Administration (Grant and Business Managers),

As you may be aware, it is increasingly likely that funding for approximately twelve federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security, will expire at midnight tonight, Friday, December 21, 2018. The House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have each passed a short-term funding bill, which would provide funding through February 8, 2019; however, these bills contain different funding levels and therefore cannot be signed into law by President Trump.

Agencies funded by this short-term appropriations bill include:

  • NSF, 
  • DHS, 
  • Department of Commerce (including NOAA),
  • the Environmental Protection Agency, and
  • NASA

If a single short-term funding bill is not passed by Congress and signed by the President by midnight, these agencies will largely shut down operations.

Congress had previously provided a full year of appropriations to:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services (including the National Institutes of Health)

These agencies will not be affected by a lapse in funding and will continue operations.

We will continue to monitor the situation and remain hopeful that there will be a resolution in the coming days; however, I want to take the opportunity to remind you of key issues that may affect Duke University sponsored program activity should a shutdown occur. The breadth of impact will largely be driven by the length of the potential shutdown; if, like previous shutdowns, this lasts just several days, the impact will be minimal. We will continue to evaluate information about the status of the potential shutdown and will provide updates as they become available. 

Specific updates that may be applicable to the grant community are:

Note: these updates are based on communication from OMB and the agencies and are only relevant to those agencies that would have a lapse in fundingThe NIH is not subject to these updates.

1)      Awards: No new awards or NCE’s will be issued during the period of government shutdown.

a.      New appropriations and awards will be delayed.  The length of the delay will be determined by how long the cessation of federal business lasts. 

2)     Federal Systems: GRANTS.GOV will remain open but functioning slow with limited helpdesk and administrative support.  For those agencies that use local electronic systems (not Grants.gov) for applications, submission of progress reports, requests for payments, etc., those systems generally will not be available during the shutdown.

3)     Federal Reimbursement of Active Awards: The availability of Letter-of-Credit draws varies by agency, depending on funding status and shutdown plans. As of Friday, December 21, it appears that DHHS/PMS will remain open and unaffected. Per guidance released in September 2018, we anticipate NSF’s Letter-of-Credit system will be unavailable. We will provide further updates if the shutdown continues. Payments on Duke award that are paid through means other than a letter of credit may be delayed due to lack of staffing. Again, this impact will depend on the funding status of the agency in question.

4)     Work should continue on all federal awards; agencies will notify Principal Investigators if work should be stopped or curtailed. However, we do not envision this scenario being commonplace.  If your receive specific sponsor guidance, please notify your pre-award office immediately. 

a.      It is likely that each Contract will receive specific guidance as to whether work can continue or if a stoppage is in effect.  If you manage federal contracts, please work with your faculty and be on the lookout for this, and inform your pre-award office immediately upon any communication.

5)     Please note: We do not anticipate that any federally funded positions at Duke University will be laid off as a result of a short-term shutdown.  Normal work activities should continue.

There has not been significant communication from agencies or OMB on the potential shutdown, but “OMB Agency Contingency Plans” are required by law to be updated every two years, are available here.

Duke’s Office of Governmental Relations is actively watching and managing this issue and will update us accordingly; they have established a page dedicated to this potential shutdown, available here

We anticipate that we will provide our next update on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, as President Trump has declared Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, federal holidays.

Attached here are FAQs that address a wider array of potential impacts, but if you have further questions, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs or your applicable pre-award office.

Thanks.

Jim Luther

Associate Vice President-RCC & Federal Reimbursement


Update: 12/18/2018

Notes on Travel and Hiring in case of shutdown

MANAGER MEMO December 18, 2018

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers

FROM:  Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration

RE:  Potential Hiring and Travel Impacts During Government Shutdown

In the event of a partial  U.S. Government shutdown on Friday, several federal agencies and services will be temporarily unavailable, including E-verify, which is used to determine the eligibility of new employees to work in the United States. 

During such time, our ability to hire new faculty and staff will continue unabated. Duke will continue to keep a record of I-9 forms for new employees hired during the shutdown. Hiring may continue at Duke during this time. Employees hired during this period will go through the E-verify system once it is reinstated, and any eligibility issues will be addressed at that time.

However, the temporary and permanent labor certification function at the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will cease processing applications entirely, and associated personnel will not be available to respond to inquiries until the office reopens.

In addition, the following agencies would also be affected:

  • U.S. Consulates and Visa Services: International students, scholars and employees travelling internationally and plan to renew or request a new visa while abroad, may encounter delays at the U.S. consulates. The Department of State funding bill has not been passed and consular operations have been subject to prior government shutdowns. Visa issuances and consular interviews likely will be suspended with only very limited (humanitarian emergency) exceptions. We recommend these travelers schedule consular interviews as soon as possible. Travelers with interview dates this week could be delayed in receiving their visas. Appointments after Dec. 21 may be cancelled or seriously delayed.
  • SEVP/SEVIS: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and SEVIS will remain open and functioning because they are fee-funded.
  • Social Security Administration: This agency will not accept or process applications for Social Security numbers or replace cards during a possible shutdown.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS offices and processing will continue to operate normally, because the USCIS is primarily fee-funded.
  • U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP): Because of its national security role, CBP services at ports-of-entry by air, sea and land will continue as usual during a shutdown.
  • Department of Labor: Funding was passed for the Department of Labor and unless ordered to shut down, Labor Condition Applications for H-1B Petitions will be processed.