FCC Plans Orderly Shutdown with Congress Missing Deadline

October 1, 2013


Washington - Sep 30, 2013 - The Federal Communications Commission issued a brief document that outlines how the agency will shutdown in an orderly manner if the House and the Senate cannot pass a bill to fund government operations past Sept.30, 2013. The document was issued Sept. 27.

The document begins: "Generally, 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 cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided."

If a spending bill is not passed, all FCC employees will report to work on Oct. 1 for an estimated half-day of work to complete the orderly agency shutdown. This time will be spent securing the work areas, materials and files, and cancelling any pending activities such as travel, events and meetings. It is expected that approximately 1,754 FCC employees are employed by the FCC.

While most employees will be furloughed, the FCC Chairwoman and two Commissioners will not, as well as up to 35 other employees, who will handle general activities such as maintaining the facilities, files, IT, security, and basic oversight issues. Several contractors will be retained to "protect life and property." Some furloughed employees may be called on as needed.

Of course, any current FCC activities will be suspended during a shutdown.



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