Federal Government Shutdown

Due to a lapse in appropriations for fiscal year 2019, the federal government entered a partial shutdown on Dec. 22, 2018. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers may be affected, depending on the agencies from which they receive federal grants or awards. The Office of Sponsored Programs is available to provide guidance to principal investigators and is carefully monitoring information about FY2019 appropriations. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

During the shutdown, affected agencies may be unable to accept new proposals, process awards, or have personnel available to help with prior approvals, award processing and other administrative needs. Peer review processes also may be affected.

Investigators with active funding may continue working as usual. Exceptions are situations in which interaction with federal personnel or facilities is required, or when the principal investigator and/or OSP receives a stop work order for that contract. For specific guidance from agencies impacted by the shutdown, visit Guidance from Federal Agencies.

PIs who receive stop work orders should forward the notifications to Jeanne Wicks, director of sponsored programs. UNL awards that have received stop work orders are posted here.

Government shutdown guidance

FY2019 appropriations status

Some agencies’ appropriations bills were signed into law prior to the shutdown. A complete list of proposed FY2019 appropriations, and their status, is available at Congress.gov. The table below summarizes how the partial shutdown impacts key agencies. Nebraska researchers who have grants or contracts from agencies whose appropriations have not yet been approved may be affected.

Agencies that have received FY2019 appropriations

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

Agencies with unapproved FY2019 appropriations

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities

Updated Jan. 3, 2019


Guidance from federal agencies

Some federal agencies have notified the Office of Sponsored Programs and principal investigators about how to navigate the partial shutdown. Visit this page for the latest updates and instructions from agencies that interact with Nebraska researchers.

NASA

Subject: Federal Government Shutdown due to Absence of Appropriations, NASA Grants and Cooperative Agreements

As of the end of December 21, 2018 there were no longer appropriated funding for certain Federal Agencies, including NASA. As a result, all NASA installations will be conducting an orderly shutdown on December 26, 2018 with limited exceptions for specific activities, unless additional appropriated funds are received by the Agency.

If your institution’s grant or cooperative agreement requires access to a NASA facility or participation from NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, the guidance in paragraph (a) below is applicable to your institution. If your institution’s grant or cooperative agreement does not require access to a NASA facility or participation of NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, the guidance in paragraph (b) below is applicable to your institution.

  • To the extent the subject grant or cooperative agreement includes work performed on-site at a NASA facility, the NASA facility will not be available for the performance of such work beginning on December 26, 2018. Unless the Agency receives an additional appropriation on December 26, 2018, you are instructed to commence an orderly shut-down of your onsite operations and you are to preserve resources and take all actions necessary to minimize costs incurred under the subject grant or cooperative agreement during this Government shutdown. This includes notifying your employees immediately of this orderly shutdown.
  • Since your grant or cooperative agreement does not require access to a NASA installation, access to NASA IT resources and data, or participation of NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, you are to continue to perform research under your grant or cooperative agreement as long you have available funding. Special Condition 1260.53 Incremental Funding (for awards subject to 14 CFR Part 1260) or Term and Condition 1800.921 Incremental Funding (for awards subject to 2 CFR Part 1800) of your grant or cooperative agreement specifies the total amount of funding that has been allotted to your grant or cooperative agreement. You are also reminded the Agency is not obligated to reimburse your institution for the expenditure of amounts in excess of the total funds allotted to this grant or cooperative agreement. Your institution is not authorized to continue performance beyond that period covered by the allotted funding and is cautioned to closely manage all available funding, as additional funding will not be provided while the Agency is without appropriations. Any research performed during this time period should be carefully planned, taking into account that NASA technical and administrative personnel will not be available to support these activities during the Government shutdown.

For availability of incurred cost payment through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Payment Management System, please check the HHS Division of Payment Management website at: https://pms.psc.gov/.

The direction in this letter is in effect until appropriations are restored. You shall be responsible for monitoring the local radio, television stations, NASA Web sites, and other communications channels for updates. Once Federal appropriations again become available, you are authorized to return to work and the NASA installation will reopen and funds can be added to your grant or cooperative as deemed necessary and Government oversight and administrative personnel will resume their ordinary duties.

Theresa Stanley
Grant Officer

National Park Service

To: NPS Financial Assistance Recipient Organization : Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Subject: Performance of NPS Financial Assistance Agreements During a Lapse in Appropriations: P18AC00328, P17AC00181, P15AC01750, P16AC01250

National Park Service (NPS) appropriations expired on December 21, 2018. As of December 22, 2018 there are no annual appropriations for some Federal Agencies, including the National Park Service.

NPS financial assistance agreements include grants, cooperative agreements, and task agreements. Regardless of additional information and criteria provided below, existing financial assistance agreement(s) that prevent imminent harm to life or property, including the care of captive animals, will continue during the lapse in appropriations.

Access to NPS sites and employees will be very limited as of December 22, 2018 until further notice. Therefore, no work is to be performed under financial assistance agreement(s) that require access to NPS sites or NPS personnel or that are dependent on additional appropriations after midnight ET, December 21st. You are instructed to refrain from providing services related financial assistance agreement(s) that fall into this category, to direct any sub-recipients to comply with the contents of this letter, and to otherwise minimize costs.

However, some financial assistance agreements are not dependent on additional appropriations, access to NPS sites, or substantial involvement of NPS personnel. As a result, we have determined that performance of grants that fall into this category are allowed to continue during the lapse in appropriations. While cooperative agreements and task agreements do require substantial involvement for at least a portion of their period of performance, if the cooperative agreement or task agreement is not dependent on additional appropriations, access to NPS sites or NPS personnel, or substantial involvement for the period of performance during the lapse in appropriations these agreements are also allowed to continue. If you are uncertain as to whether or not performance should continue for your financial assistance agreement(s) then performance should cease until you can obtain clarification from the point of contact provided below or until further written communication from a NPS Financial Assistance Agreements Officer is received.

The direction in this written notification is in effect until you receive further written communication from a NPS Financial Assistance Agreements Officer. That is not expected to happen until appropriations again become available for this agency. Until appropriations again become available, the Government will be working with a very limited staff, so you may be contacted by another Financial Assistance Awarding Officer within the National Park Service.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Lubner at (303) 888-4412.

Noël Miller
NPS Financial Assistance Agreements Officer

National Science Foundation

MEMORANDUM

Date: December 21, 2018

From: Tim Kashmer, Acting Branch Chief, Cooperative Support Branch

Subject: Federal Government Shutdown due to Absence of Appropriations

The current appropriation under which the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been operating expires at the end of the day, December 21, 2018. In the event that neither a new appropriation nor a continuing resolution is passed, a lapse in funding would ensue requiring NSF to shut down with limited exemptions for specifically excepted activities. The NSF’s website (https://www.nsf.gov/) will be updated to indicate a lapse in appropriations, if one occurs.

NSF Recipients may continue to perform under their cooperative agreements for work where sufficient funds were obligated prior to the funding hiatus, and where performance does not require Government support, such as quality assurance oversight or other actions required of NSF staff. Please note that you will not be able to draw down on these monies during the funding hiatus. Additionally, the absence of NSF personnel to process administrative actions or provide needed authorizations during this hiatus does not constitute agency approval of any pending action.

For Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) activities, even if funds are available, Recipients may continue work only up until the next full monthly reporting period requirement, not to exceed 30 days, but must not enter into any subawards, contracts, or other like arrangements, that require NSF prior approval. If a funding hiatus continues to the monthly reporting period, not to exceed 30 days, Recipients must minimize expenditures while taking such steps to orderly suspend these activities in a manner that does not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.

In all cases, Recipients must take appropriate steps to ensure that property and equipment acquired in whole or in part with Federal funds are protected and otherwise secured from harm during any funding hiatus.

Please be aware that, except for issues of life or property noted herein, NSF will not be available to respond to e-mails or phone calls during a funding hiatus, but will respond to your inquiries as soon as practicable after normal operations have been resumed. To the extent legally permissible, NSF is committed to minimize the negative impacts this disruption may have on the science and engineering enterprise and, as necessary, would issue follow-on guidance after a funding hiatus ends. In the event that an emergency situation arises that endangers life or property, please contact Keith Boyea, Branch Chief, Contracts Branch, Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support, by telephone at (703) 292-4486 or by e-mail at kboyea@nsf.gov, or Jemal Williams, Grants and Agreements Officer, Cooperative Support Branch, Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support, by telephone at (703) 292-2219 or by e-mail at jemwilli@nsf.gov. Responses will not be provided in nonemergency situations.

The direction in this memorandum remains effective until an appropriation authorizing NSF to operate is signed by the President at which time this direction is rescinded.

Office of Justice Programs

Jan. 17, 2019
Dear OJP Award Recipient—
The purpose of this email is to update you on the operational status of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). If the partial government shutdown does continue, OJP has sufficient resources to remain operational through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, March 1, 2019. This means that OJP staff will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period. Likewise, OJP systems and services will be available. As an OJP award recipient, your organization should continue with your scheduled, federally-funded activities.
While OJP remains operational, grantee payment requests received through the Grants Payment Request System (GPRS) will be processed and submitted to Treasury for payment on a daily basis.
If OJP’s operational status changes, we will contact you regarding the impact on our services and systems.

Maureen A. Henneberg
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management
Office of Justice Programs

 

Jan. 7, 2019
Dear OJP Award Recipient—

As indicated in my January 3, 2019 email, although there has not yet been an enactment of another Continuing Resolution, or a FY 2019 full-year appropriation, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has sufficient resources to remain operational through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 18, 2019. This means that OJP staff will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period. Likewise, OJP systems and services will be available. As an OJP award recipient, your organization should continue with your scheduled, federally-funded activities.

As noted in my December 21, 2018 email, the Grants Payment Request System (GPRS) has remained operational to receive your payment requests, though processing of those requests was suspended as of December 26th. The processing of payment requests will resume immediately, and continue through 6:00 a.m. (EST) on January 18, 2019. Payment requests submitted to GPRS from December 26th (after 6:00 a.m.) through 6:00 a.m. on January 18th will be processed and submitted to Treasury for payment on a daily basis.

If it appears that a lapse in FY 2019 appropriations will continue beyond January 18th, we will contact you regarding the potential impact on payment requests.

Thank you,

Maureen A. Henneberg
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management
Office of Justice Programs

 

Jan. 3, 2019
Dear OJP Award Recipient –

As you know, the Continuing Resolution, which funded Federal government operations through December 21, 2018, expired without the enactment of another Continuing Resolution or a FY 2019 full-year appropriation. This funding lapse has continued, resulting in cessation of many federal agency services.

However, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has sufficient resources to remain operational and will continue to operate through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 18, 2019. This means that OJP staff will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period.  Likewise, OJP systems and services will be available.

As an OJP award recipient, your organization should continue with your scheduled, federally-funded activities. Please note that during this time, the Grants Payment Request System (GPRS) will remain in service to accept grant payment requests. However, Department staff will not be available to process the requests. We will notify you when Department staff resumes processing of payment requests received in GPRS.

If it appears that a lapse in FY 2019 appropriations will continue beyond January 18th, we will contact you regarding OJP’s operational status and any potential impact on our services and systems.

Thank you,
Maureen A. Henneberg
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management
Office of Justice Programs

 

Dec. 21, 2018
Dear OJP Award Recipient –

The current Continuing Resolution to fund Federal government operations expires at midnight (EST) on Friday, December 21, 2018. Without another Continuing Resolution or enactment of FY 2019 full-year appropriations, there will be a funding lapse that would result in cessation of many federal agency services.

However, should there be a lapse (“government shutdown”), the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has sufficient resources to remain operational through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 4, 2019. This means that OJP staff will be available to assist grantees, stakeholders, and the public during this period. Likewise, OJP systems and services will be available.

Please note that during this time, the Grants Payment Request System (GPRS) will remain in service to accept grant payment requests. The Department’s finance office plans to process a grant payment file early Wednesday morning, December 26th, which is expected to include any payment requests received in GPRS by 6:00 a.m. (EST) that morning. However, Department staff will not be available to process requests received after that time. When Department staff return, payment requests received in GPRS will be processed.

If it appears that a lapse in FY 2019 appropriations will continue beyond January 4th, we will contact you regarding OJP’s operational status and any potential impact on our services and systems.

Thank you,
Maureen A. Henneberg
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management
Office of Justice Programs

U.S. Forest Service

Dear Valued Partner:

This notice is to inform you of a lapse in appropriation for the federal government. As a recipient of United States Forest Service (FS) funds already obligated, you are able to continue the work for which funds were awarded, unless further direction is provided to you. We advise you to be prudent in your expenditures and do not incur any expenses not absolutely necessary for performance of current needs.

Please note the following:

  • FS cannot issue any grant and agreement actions (new awards or modifications) during this lapse
  • No activities for which the FS is responsible/required (i.e. oversight, support, input) can be performed
  • No payment requests can be submitted to the FS, and the FS cannot approve payment requests
  • No access to Government facilities, vehicles, and equipment is permitted.

Please see the attached Office of Management and Budget FAQs for further guidance. We appreciate your partnership and thank you for your patience during this time. This notice may be forwarded to any Principal Investigator/Project Contact associated with a current Forest Service agreement, that is not identified in the recipient/To line.

/s/ Keith D. Friot
Group Leader, Acquisition Management

Dear Valued Partner:

This notice is to inform you of a lapse in appropriation for the federal government. As a recipient of Forest Service (FS) funds already obligated, you are able to continue the work for which funds were awarded, unless further direction is provided to you. We advise you to be prudent in your expenditures and do not incur any expenses not absolutely necessary for performance of current needs.

Please note the following:

  • FS cannot issue new awards during this lapse
  • No activities for which the FS is responsible/required (i.e. oversight, support, input) can be performed
  • No payment requests can be submitted to the FS
  • FS cannot approve payment requests

Please see the attached FAQs for further guidance. We appreciate your partnership and thank you for your patience during this time.

Cindy Gordon
Group Leader G&A and AQM
Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Research Station


UNL stop work orders

A stop work order is a tool used during a shutdown to halt progress and prevent additional costs incurred on a contract. Current stop work orders for Nebraska researchers will be posted here. Principal investigators who receive stop work orders should notify Jeanne Wicks, director of sponsored programs, 402-472-1825.

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, Texas 77058-3696

December 26, 2018

University of Nebraska
2200 Vine ST Box 830861
Lincoln, NE 68503-2427

Subject: Federal Government Shutdown due to Absence of Appropriations

As of December 21, 2018 there is no longer appropriated funding for Federal Agencies, including NASA. As a result, the Johnson Space Center (JSC) installation will be forced to curtail operations on December 21, 2018 with limited exceptions for specific activities, unless additional appropriated funds are received by the Agency.

To the extent the subject contract includes work performed which requires civil servant oversight, the NASA employees will not be available for the performance of such work after December 21, 2018. Unless the Agency receives an additional appropriation on or before December 21, 2018, you are instructed to commence an orderly shut-down of your unfunded operations in a manner that ensures a complete shutdown of all those activities within four (4) hours of a normal start time on the first business day following December 21, 2018. Shutdown activities should also include employee workspaces.

To the extent work can be performed under the contract and the work does not require any civil servant oversight or other government support, such work shall continue as long as funds remain available for such performance. The “limitation of funds” clause in your contract will determine how long that work can continue. You are reminded that the date shown in the contract for funding coverage for this work is only an estimated date. Funds could actually be exhausted prior to that date or may cover performance beyond that date. You are encouraged to closely manage the available funding as additional funding will not be provided while the Agency is without appropriations. Also, you are cautioned to carefully plan the work to be performed as Government oversight and administrative personnel (e.g. quality inspectors) will not be available to support your ongoing activities. Contractors can continue to use their government provided IT and can access NASA’s systems through VPN to perform work under the contract.

You are to preserve resources and take all actions necessary to minimize costs incurred under the subject contract during this Government shutdown.

Deliveries will not be accepted at NASA facilities during shutdown; delivery trucks will be denied access at the gate, unless specifically authorized for excepted work.

The direction in this letter is in effect until appropriations are received by the Agency. You are encouraged to monitor the website found at https://jscsos.com/ to determine if appropriation have been received and normal operations have resumed. When normal operations have resumed, your employees should also return to their normal locations and duties, unless otherwise notified by their Contracting Officer. Once Federal appropriations again become available, funds can be added to your contract as deemed necessary, and Government oversight and administrative personnel will resume their ordinary duties.

Shine Lin
Contracting Officer