The FCC has announced its plan for an orderly shut-down if there is a lapse of Congressional appropriations effective October 1, 2013. The FCC said that during a shutdown all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease. Suspended activities include, among many others: consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines; consumer protection and local competition enforcement; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services; and equipment authorizations.
How will the FCC shut-down be implemented?
The FCC estimates that, with very rare exceptions, orderly shutdown will be completed in approximately 4 hours (one half-day for planning purposes). When the shutdown plan is activated, all FCC employees will be instructed to report to work the first business day following a lapse in appropriations if necessary to conduct orderly shutdown of operations. Shutdown activities include items such as: securing the work area and locking up materials and files; cancelling travel plans and scheduled training; cancelling internal and external meetings and informing attendees; cancelling FCC sponsored events and notifying participants, and placing out-of-office messages on email and voicemail. Up to 10 employees in the Wireline Competition Bureau and a few employees from other offices may be needed for up to a day to suspend recently filed tariffs so they do not automatically take effect during the shutdown.
Which employees will be retained?
After the plan has been implemented, 38 employees (2% of those on-board before the plan was implemented) will have been retained. The 38 employees include up to 16 employees retained to protect life and property. These are full-time employees, working shifts to cover 24 hour and 18 hour operations. Up to 2 employees will be working per shift at each location. Staff of the FCC Operations Center handle emergency contacts for agency. In addition, up to 6 employees will be retained under the plan because their compensation is financed by a resource other than annual appropriations. They include the FCC Chairwoman and two Commissioners. In addition, some contractors will be retained to protect live or property, including IT support to monitors systems. The remaining 1716 employees (98% of those on-board before the plan was implemented) will have been furloughed and sent home. Full text of plan