Status Report

NASA Planning for a Lapse in Appropriations Update

By SpaceRef Editor
September 30, 2013
Filed under ,

Subject: Planning for a Lapse in Appropriations Update.

From: Jeri Buchholz, Assistant Administrator, Office of Human Capital Management

Date: September 30, 2013

This HR Message is being delivered to you via HRMES On Behalf Of: Jeri Buchholz, Assistant Administrator, Office of Human Capital Management

Today is the last day of the fiscal year (FY) for 2013, and the new fiscal year for 2014 starts tomorrow, October 1. Although negotiations are ongoing to pass FY 2014 appropriations, it is possible no agreement will be reached, requiring a shutdown of ordinary operations. If a FY 2014 continuing resolution is not passed before 12:01 AM on October 1, NASA can only engage in activities related to the orderly shutdown of operations and performance of excepted activities. As a required part of a shutdown, employees who will not be performing activities excepted by law will be furloughed and unable to work for the duration of the shutdown, unless recalled for an excepted activity. According to our executed shutdown plan, all employees were notified by September 30 whether they were excepted/on-call or non-excepted in the event of a shutdown. If you have questions on your status, please consult with your supervisor.

Should a lapse in appropriations occur, you should report for duty (either on-site or Work from Anywhere (WFA) ) Tuesday morning, October 1, unless your center or supervisor provided specific guidance on alternate shutdown plans. All employees will be in a duty status, unless otherwise notified, and you should follow your Center guidance.

– Follow your Center guidance as to work location and WFA options. – Follow your Center guidance regarding acknowledgment of your formal furlough notice. – Ensure that there is an appropriate message on your voicemail/email out of office. Templates are provided below.

For employees who report to work on Tuesday morning, you will be dismissed after shutdown activities are completed. For many employees, this may take less than 30 minutes.

Voice Mail Template – Furloughed Employee

You have reached the voice mail of (name) . NASA is currently closed due to a lapse in government funding. I am in furlough status; therefore, I am unable to respond to your message at this time.

Email Out of Office Template – Furloughed Employee

NASA is currently closed due to a lapse in government funding. I am in furlough status; therefore, I am unable to respond to your message at this time.

If a shutdown occurs, follow the OPM site (, the NSSC Customer Service phone line (877-677-2123), and any Center-specific guidance for information on government operating status and directions on when to return to work once an appropriation or continuing resolution is signed.

During the furlough, you will be in a non-pay, non-duty status. During this time, you will not be permitted to serve NASA as an unpaid volunteer. You must remain away from your work site, and may not work at home or in another location, unless and until recalled. NASA laptop computers, smart phones, and other resources used for remote access must be turned off and may not be used while you are furloughed. If you use NASA IT resources, such as your email account, for personal use under the acceptable use policy, you should make other arrangements if you want to receive such communications while furloughed (e.g., change the destination for personal email).

If you are scheduled for travel and/or training for the upcoming week, the guidance below applies:

Travel in support of excepted activities will continue, but at the minimum level needed to support the excepted function; each center has a senior travel coordinator on call to process travel authorizations. If you are not excepted and already on domestic TDY (temporary duty travel) status, you should make reasonable arrangements (e.g., at typically approved – not premium – fares) to promptly return to your home duty station. If you are not excepted and on domestic Extended TDY, you have the option to stay in place or make reasonable arrangements for a trip back to your home duty station. In either case, NASA will reimburse the expense of the long-term lodging, but you otherwise will be on furlough status (i.e., without reimbursable per diem or other work-related coverage). Do not cancel long-term leases unless specifically directed to. If you are on foreign travel, please report to work or check in by email with your supervisor for further directions. As of today, we are asking all foreign travelers to keep their current plans. If you are furloughed, you will be in an on-call status (i.e., regularly checking your emails for updates and changed directions). If the shutdown is not resolved after a few days, your center may be recalling you home, but that determination will be made based on a variety of factors, including the anticipated length of the shutdown. CI Travel will be available during the furlough to assist employees requiring adjustments to official travel plans. For domestic travel, please call 1-888-353-5873, option 2. For international travel, please call 1-334-206-7457.

You can locate NASA’s Shutdown Plan and Frequently Asked Questions regarding a government furlough at until there is a government shutdown, at which point the NASA website will be not accessible. If you would like to retain a copy during shutdown, you should save it on your personal computer or print it out.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has posted information on its website to answer your questions about furlough at Further information will be added to this website over the coming days. It may be advisable to bookmark this site on your personal computer for access while furloughed.

We recognize this 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. If you need to reach the Employee Assistance Program, you may call 1-866-315-7380.

Thank you for your continued contributions and commitment to NASA.

THIS IS AN AUTOMATED HRMES MESSAGE. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY. Please contact the NSSC Customer Contact Center if you need additional information.

SpaceRef staff editor.