1. PURPOSE. The purpose of this directive is to provide procedures to be followed in the event of a shutdown of agency operations resulting from lack of continued funding.
2. SCOPE. The provisions of this directive apply to all CPSC staff.
3. OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DIRECTIVE. The Office of Financial Management, Planning and Evaluation is responsible for this directive.
4. CANCELLATION. This Order cancels CPSC Order 0921.1, dated December 15, 2011.
a. Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1341 et seq.).
b. Memorandum of September 17, 2013, from the Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), regarding Planning for Agency Operations (M-13-22).
c. Memorandum of August 22, 1995, from the Director, OMB, to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, regarding Agency Plans for Operations During Funding Hiatus.
d. Memorandum of August 16, 1995, from the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, to the Director, OMB, regarding government operations in the event of a lapse in appropriations.
e. Memorandum of November 17, 1981, from the Director, OMB, to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies regarding continuance of government functions during a temporary lapse in appropriations.
f. Opinion of the U.S. Attorney General, as stated in a letter to the President, dated January 16, 1981, regarding continuance of government functions during a temporary lapse in appropriations.
g. OMB Bulletin 80‑14, dated August 28, 1980.
h. Opinion of the U.S. Attorney General, as stated in a letter to the President, dated April 25, 1980.
i. Guidance and Information on Furloughs, from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (http:/www.opm.gov/furlough/furlough.asp) (last visited March 8, 2011).
a. Continuing Resolution. Appropriations legislation other than an annual appropriation that continues agency funding for a specific time period, usually less than a year in duration.
b. Excepted Activities. Those activities necessary to the orderly termination of agency activities, to protect against imminent threats to human safety, to protect government property, or to provide necessary support to these activities.
c. Excepted Employees. CPSC staff designated by the Executive Director as necessary to the orderly termination of agency activities, to protect against imminent threats to human safety, to protect government property, or to provide necessary support to these activities.
d. Funding Hiatus. Any lapse in the availability of funds for Commission programs and activities, thereby eliminating the Commission's authority to incur normal obligations. This includes lapses that result from a lack of timeliness in Congressional or Presidential action on appropriations legislation.
a. The Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1341) prohibits government officers and employees from obligating the government for the payment of money before an appropriation is made unless specifically authorized by law. In the absence of such law, Federal agencies must begin procedures for an orderly termination of all activities when funding is not available due to such circumstances as lack of an agency appropriation or continuing resolution, or lack of funding in the treasury to pay legitimate government obligations due to debt ceiling restrictions.
b. The Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1342) also prohibits the government from accepting voluntary services. Employment of government personnel during an absence of appropriations is considered to be an acceptance of voluntary services and is thus prohibited. The Antideficiency Act permits the employment of services required for emergencies to ensure the safety of human life or the protection of government property. Such emergencies do not include ongoing, regular functions of government, the suspension of which would not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.
a. This directive provides the basic procedures and clarifies general responsibilities for implementing an orderly shutdown of agency operations and for the continuation of excepted activities by excepted employees.
b. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring an orderly shutdown of agency operations and the continuation of excepted activities resides in the Chairman of the Commission as agency head. As a practical matter, however, the Executive Director is responsible for carrying out the provisions of this directive upon direction by the Chairman.
c . The guidance in this directive is not meant to include all steps necessary to complete a shutdown or to continue excepted activities, as many cannot be anticipated in advance of implementation or will vary depending upon the particular circumstances of the funding situation.
d. The Commission receives official notification of an impending shutdown directly from OMB. Notification received from other sources, such as the news media or other Federal agencies, must be verified with OMB staff before actual steps may be taken to implement this directive. Notification must be received from OMB before procedures outlined in this directive will be implemented.
e. All shutdown procedures will be performed in a manner that will facilitate reactivation of agency activities when funds become available.
9. SHUTDOWN PROCEDURES.
a. The Executive Director, upon being informed by OMB that shutdown procedures must be initiated, shall notify each Assistant Executive Director (AED) and Office Director (OD) as quickly as practicable and request that they report back within 24 hours with a proposed list of emergency assignments that should be continued to protect against imminent threats to human safety and to protect government property, and the excepted employees for each such assignment. The Executive Director shall coordinate all activities associated with this shutdown plan.
b. The Executive Director will promptly order the Director of Human Resources to notify each CPSC employee of the implementation of shutdown procedures by memorandum, email or other available telecommunications or media. Official notification should provide employees with any available information or explanations that may be helpful in clarifying the nature and expected duration of the shutdown action. The Director of Human Resources shall issue furlough notices to each employee not designated an excepted employee. Employees shall acknowledge receipt of the furlough notices to the extent practicable and as ordered. The Office of Human Resources shall maintain a list of all employees to whom notices have been issued so that the appropriate personnel actions may be effected.
c. Upon notification that shutdown activities shall begin, each AED or OD will be considered excepted employees for at least the time it takes them to furnish the names and justification for other excepted employees to the Executive Director, and to provide assistance, as required, to assure an orderly shutdown.
d. The Executive Director will then determine, based upon the applicable criteria and in consultation with the General Counsel as appropriate, which employees are excepted employees necessary to protect against imminent threats to human safety and to protect government property during the shutdown period. Employees designated as excepted employees will be notified and directed to remain on duty during the shutdown period.
e. During the course of a shutdown, employees designated as excepted employees may be notified by the Executive Director that their functions are completed and that they are no longer excepted employees.
f. All other employees not designated excepted employees will remain on call during a shutdown in the event that an emergency arises that, based upon a determination in accordance with this directive by the Executive Director, requires them to report to duty as an excepted employee.
10. EXCEPTED EMPLOYEES.
a. Excepted employees during a shutdown are only those employees necessary to the orderly termination of agency activities, to protect against imminent threats to human safety, to protect government property, or to provide necessary support for these activities. Excepted employees necessary to protect against imminent threats to human safety are those where the failure to perform their functions would result in an imminent threat to the safety of human life. Examples of such employees are:
(1) Employees necessary to collect and analyze information about defective products to determine whether they create a substantial and immediate threat to the safety of human life;
(2) Employees necessary to work with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to recall as quickly as practicable products that create an immediate threat to the safety of human life;
(3) Employees necessary to disseminate information to the public about products that create an immediate threat to the safety of human life;
(4) Employees necessary to coordinate and monitor recalls of products that create a substantial and immediate threat to the safety of human life; and
(5) Employees necessary to file an action in a United States district court with respect to products that create a substantial and immediate threat to the safety of human life.