About 500 FTA staffers could be furloughed beginning Tuesday if there is a government shutdown. Which FTA functions will be suspended?
Late Friday USDOT provided some answers in “Operations During a Lapse in Annual Appropriations.” We pulled out the FTA section for those interested. The full document can be found on this USDOT webpage.
USDOT started notifying employees Thursday of whether they would be subject to furloughs. Official furlough notices will go out Tuesday if there is a shutdown. About 18,000 USDOT employees are subject to furlough.
Staff at Work
- Positions funded by multi-year appropriations, indefinite appropriations, or contract authority: 51
- Hurricane Sandy Recovery: 21
- Lower Manhattan Recovery Office: 3
- Positions supporting lawful continuation of other functions (e.g., support for Life and Safety positions): 4
Total Positions at Work 28
Positions to be Furloughed: 501
Total Positions: 529
Summary of Continuing Operations
- In the absence of appropriations, limited functions funded from prior year appropriations would continue. These would include Hurricane Sandy activities funded from the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (21 positions) and activities in
the Lower Manhattan Recovery Office (3 positions) funded by emergency supplemental appropriations after 9/11.
Summary of Suspended Activities
- FTA would not continue any of its unfunded core agency functions. No grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, purchase orders, travel authorizations, or other documents obligating funds would be executed.
- FTA customarily reimburses transit agencies for ongoing operations and construction projects to enable them to provide transit services and pay employees and contractors. October is typically a month where grantees request substantial reimbursements.
In October of FY 2013 payments averaged about $200 million per week.
- FTA would not obligate grant funds for projects carried out by approximately 1,300 grantees throughout the country as FTA staff that perform these functions are not considered excepted employees. FTA grants primarily fund operating expenses and
- For projects under development, FTA staff would not carry out environmental, legal, civil rights, and other reviews essential or advancing projects to the point of obligation since these are not related to immediate issues of life and safety.
- FTA would not make grant payments using FTA’s Financial Management Systems or vendor payments using the DELPHI accounting systems regardless of the fiscal year cited since appropriations would not be available to pay the salaries of the staff executing the payments. All FTA program funds would be suspended, including payments for Recovery Act projects.
- Program oversight activities would continue but only with funds provided by prior year appropriations. Most oversight activities are performed by contractors.
Assessment of Liquidating Cash (Trust Fund Agencies Only)
- FTA has sufficient liquidating cash. However, FTA would not outlay funds because appropriations would not be available to pay the salaries of staff executing payments.
- Certain contract support functions funded with prior year appropriations would continue unless contracting officer representatives (COR) are needed to supervise on-site contract staff. CORs are not considered excepted employees.