News | Sept. 29, 2015

Deputy Defense Secretary keeps DoD workforce informed on potential government shutdown

By Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work Department of Defense

The Pentagon and Deputy Defense Secretary, Bob Work, officially notified the military and DoD civilian workforce of the potential government shutdown in a memorandum released Friday afternoon.

Read the memo below:

"SUBJECT: Guidance for Continuation of Operations During a Lapse of Appropriations

Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235) expire at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. The Administration does not want a lapse in appropriations, which would result in a government shutdown, to occur. The Administration is willing to work with the Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical Government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2016 appropriations. The Secretary and I hope that the Congress will provide the Department with a CR or an appropriations bill for Defense activities during Fiscal Year 2016. However, prudent management requires that Department be prepared for the possibility of a lapse in appropriations.

The attachment to this memorandum provides the instructions for continuation of essential operations in the absence of appropriated funds (Pages 7-12). The Department will, of course, continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and ongoing operations against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, including preparation of forces for deployment into those conflicts. The Department must, as well, continue many other operations necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property. (A copy of military operations necessary for national security will be supplies separately.) These activities will be "excepted" from the results of a lapse in appropriations: all other activities would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion, including - with few exceptions - the cessation of temporary duty travel.

All military personnel performing active duty will continue in a normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with excepted of non-excepted activities. Military personnel will not be paid until such time as Congress appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service. Civilian personnel who are necessary to carry out of support excepted activities will also continue in normal duty status and also will not be paid until Congress makes appropriated funds available. Civilian employees paid from lapsed appropriations and who are not necessary to carry out of support excepted activities will be furloughed, i.r., placed in a non-work, non-pay status.

The responsibility for determining which functions would be excepted from a shutdown resides with the Secretaries of the Military Department and Heads of the DoD Components, who may delegate this authority as they deem appropriate. The attached guidance should be used to assist in making this determination. The guidance does not identify every excepted activity, but rather provides overarching direction and general principals for making these determinations. It should be applies prudently in the context of a Department at war, with decisions guaranteeing our continues robust support for those engaged in that war, and providing assurance that he lives and property of our Nation's citizens will be protected.

This memorandum contains guidance to begin detailed planning. No shutdown actions are to be taken until you receive further notice.

Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) will take the lead in preparing for operations in the absence of appropriations, assisted by other offices as necessary.

To repeat, the Secretary and I hope that Congress will pass a funding bill and the Department of Defense will avoid a shutdown. This guidance is intended to support prudent planning."

For additional and updated information, please go to the website