Although we are hopeful a government shutdown will be averted later this week, we know that some executive branch agencies are taking steps to be prepared, and out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to share this information. In the absence of a signed continuing resolution, GAO and other federal agencies continue to prepare for the possibility of a lapse in appropriations on the early morning of Saturday, April 29. When the government is shut down, it is not possible to access the GAO internet externally, and employees will not be permitted to enter GAO HQ or other GAO offices.
If you are concerned about the possibility of an extended government shutdown and think you might need to seek unemployment benefits in such an event, you will need to take the following steps before the shutdown:
- Take a copy of your most recent form SF-50 with you before the shutdown begins. Your SF-50 is only available in HR Connect, and this site will not be accessible during a shutdown. [UPDATE: Steps for generating an SF-50 within HR Connect are available at this link.]
- You will also need the Standard Form 8 from GAO (at this link). Importantly, unemployment benefits are linked to the state or district in which your GAO office is located and not to your state or district of residence.
In the event of a shutdown, updates and contact information will be available on our GAO Employees Organization website at www.GAOEmployees.org, which will remain available. Employee representatives plan to be actively engaged with GAO in the event of a shutdown to resolve unforeseen issues. If a shutdown continues to loom, GAO management plans to send a notice with additional guidance, such as shutdown procedures for employees to follow on the first regular workday following a shutdown (which would be Monday, May 2 if this week’s shutdown deadline is not avoided).
As a reminder, according to information provided by GAO, if there is a government shutdown due to a lapsed appropriation, it is against the law (the Antideficiency Act) to do agency work once you have concluded any appropriate orderly shutdown activities on the day the agency shuts down operations. See information on the GAO.gov website about the Antideficiency Act and the potential penalties for employees who violate it.
If you have questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.