ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Effects of a Government Shutdown: Contractors Get Stiffed

US-GeneralServicesAdministration Last week, as a shutdown of the federal government seemed imminent, the General Services Administration  (GSA) issued this order clarifying the ramifications of such a shutdown for government contractors.  In short, they get stiffed.  

Under the Anti-Deficiency Act, which dates back to 1884, prohibits agency officials from incurring obligations in the absence of appropriations.  As a result, a shutdown would have the following consequences:

  • The 1500 federally-owned buildings and 8000 leased buildings which the GSA maintains will operate in "weekend mode," enabling tenant agencies to provide essential services;
  • GSA will provide workspace, products and services ordered before the shutdown based on continuing need, but with certain exceptions, it will not process new orders; 
  • GSA will not make payments for products or services not funded before the funding lapse;
  • GSA will not maintain or update websites, except on an emergency basis; and 
  • No animals will be harmed in the making of this political circus


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