Friday, October 11, 2013

Your Government at Work...or Not.

Wondering which agencies are working during the shutdown and which aren't? Want to include in your classes information about the shutdown's impact but don't know where to start?  Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Briefing has answered these questions by publishing a special report, Government Shutdown Update--Week Two. Written by Paul Clark and Georgia D. Koutouzos, the special report was released October 10th, 2013.

The report gives a good history and overview on why we are where we are vis a vis the shutdown, looks at the impact on various government agencies and notes which employees were furloughed. For example, page 5 of the report states that 52% of the employees at HHS were furloughed, which includes 65% of employees of CMS, although Medicare is not impacted, nor is Medicaid's funding. However, the report goes on to mention on page 6 that the  "fraud and abuse strike force teams" of CMS are not being funded.

IRS deadlines are still in force, with the IRS encouraging electronic rather than hard copy filing to avoid processing delays. (see page 6). The federal courts have money to operate but that will be revisited if the shutdown continues after October 15th. There is an impact even though the courts are open, as the report notes that only 40-50% of opinions are being issued. (see page 8).  And, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor a government shutdown will stop the U.S. Mail. (see page 10).

The report wraps up on page 10 with a discussion of next steps, including the approaching debt ceiling and the need for catch-up once the government is back at work.

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