Government Shutdown Resource Center

With Congress and the president at an impasse over funding for a border wall, a partial government shutdown was triggered when appropriations for several agencies lapsed at midnight on December 22. Even an abbreviated shutdown has a significant impact, and it is critical that contractors understand the implications for their operations and what actions they should take before, during and after a lapse in appropriations. The information and resources on this page provide guidance and answers to key questions for companies and will be updated as new developments take place.  

PSC’s guidance for contractors includes a recording and slides from our shutdown operations and preparation webinars, a checklist of contractor actions during a government shutdown, and updated talking points on the effects of government shutdowns on companies, employees, and the government programs they support. 

Current and past guidance for selected agencies is available below, with additional agency guidance available from the OMB Repository of Agency Contingency Plans.

Calls to Action

  • Share PSC’s Social Media Toolkit with your employees and post on your company accounts to amplify our messaging to stop the shutdown
  • Share your shutdown stories with PSC, including information about problems, challenges and issues arising from the shutdown, as well as any information received from the government so we can best speak on your behalf
  • Are you willing to talk to the press, on the record or on background, based on a referral from PSC? If so, contact Ashlei Stevens at with information on the person or people with whom we should coordinate.
  • Review PSC’s key talking points and share with your PR staff

We encourage PSC members to send us 
information about problems, challenges, and issues arising from the shutdown, as well as any information received from the government.

Scroll below for additional news, resources, guidance and reports.

Shutdown News

How is the U.S. Government Shutdown Impacting Development?
While impacts are not severe yet for international development companies, they will be felt more as the shutdown continues. PSC's Alan Chvotkin predicted mounting impacts if the shutdown continues another two weeks, adding that repercussions will continue even after it ends as it will take time for operations to get back to normal, he told Devex.

Here’s How the Shutdown Hurts Government Contractors
Defense and tech contractors are feeling the effects of the government shutdown just as the 800,000 federal employees either furloughed or working without pay. "Each day, we’re getting more and more stop-work orders,” PSC President & CEO David Berteau told NextGov.

In the Shutdown, the US Government Is Flirting with Cybersecurity Disaster
The record-setting partial government shutdown that enters its 24th day today is having a damaging effect on the nation's cybersecurity, both now and in the future. According to David Berteau, there are hundreds of thousands of contractors who work for the government, including on maintaining and modernizing information and data systems.

How Do Contractors Continue Operating Through Prolonged Shutdown?
Few contractors ever dreamed the partial government shutdown would start to approach a full month. So the question becomes: How do you keep operating through such a long lapse in revenue? And should the end come into view, how do you gear up? David Berteau joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with some insight.

Alan Chvotkin on the Shutdown's Impact on Government Contractors
Alan Chvotkin talked with C-SPAN "Washington Journal" host Paul Orgel about the impact of the government shutdown on government contractors. At the time of this broadcast, the government shutdown had become the longest in American history at 22 days. The previous record was 21 days from December 1995 to January 1996. 

Project 38: PSC's David Berteau on Contractors Weathering the Shutdown
PSC President and CEO David Berteau shares with Washington Technology what he is hearing from industry on the impact of the government shutdown and steps contractors should take now to get ready for when the government reopens. Whenever that is.

Unemployment Claims From the Shutdown Are Skyrocketing
As the shutdown approaches its fourth week, regional economists have pointed to the skyrocketing number of Washington area residents who are applying for unemployment benefits: an estimated 5,431, including 4,429 federal workers and an estimated 1,002 federal contractors. PSC President and CEO weighs in with The Washingtonian.

Small Contractors Face Most Pressure as Shutdown Drags On
Contractors with small, specialized practices could be at risk of losing employees and may have to move workers to other projects or use the downtime for training, as the partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 continues. PSC tells Bloomberg Law that the association is looking for support in Congress for paying the employees even if their work is disrupted by the shutdown, but it’s complicated.

PSC to CNN: Contractors Deserve Equal Treatment
"CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon highlighted the shutdown's impacts to federal contracts. PSC Media Relations Director Ashlei Stevens focused on PSC's push to ensure equal treatment for contract employees to receive back pay upon the conclusion of the shutdown.

Federal Contractors May Not Get Any Back Pay After Shutdown Ends
MSNBC host Ali Velshi talks with PSC EVP and Counsel Alan Chvotkin on the plight of federal contractors, who historically have never received back pay in past government shutdowns.

Consequences of the government shutdown strike the private sector
Federal contractors tell the Washington Post how they are being affected by the ongoing partial government shutdown. "For many agencies...their flexibility has been used up. And now they’re having to start issuing more stop-work orders, with no end predictably in sight,” said PSC President & CEO David Berteau. 

Shutdown Has Real Consequences for Affected Workers
PSC President & CEO David Berteau appeared on CNN's New Day to discuss the impact of the government shutdown on federal contractors, noting that some "may be out of business" if the shutdown continues much longer. 

Furloughed government contractors are eligible for unemployment during the government shutdown
While noting that contractor employees who receive layoff notices could be eligible for state unemployment benefits, PSC President & CEO David Berteau told WUSA9 News that contractors deserve equal treatment with federal civilian employees who have received back-pay from the last 22 government shutdowns going back to 1974.

Federal workers pay the price for politicians’ government shutdown
PSC President & CEO David Berteau appeared on Live5News to discuss the uncertainty and risks government contractors face during a partial shutdown--particularly small businesses.

Shutdown could delay some of Trump’s IT reform goals
For much of 2018, administration officials have been working to attract tech talent by proposing direct hire and new compensation authorities. But those efforts could face some headwinds with federal employees furloughed or working without pay, Kevin Cummins, PSC's vice president of  Technology, told FedScoop.

Government Shutdown: by the Numbers
As the government shutdown nears the end of its second week, around 800,000 federal workers remain out of work or working without pay. Tens of thousands of people working for federal contractors are out of work
as well, PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin tells CNN.

Federal contractors quietly working as the partial shutdown continues
The partial shutdown is presenting unenviable dilemmas for the government services industry, including potential cash-flow shortages if the shutdown continues, PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin told Federal Times.

Shutdown unlikely to slow EIS planning
The current federal shutdown is unlikely to impact federal agencies' IT modernization planning under the General Services Administration's huge next-generation telecommunications contract, PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin told FCW.

1/2/19 - What the Shutdown Means for Shared Services
Though four of the government’s five biggest shared services providers are shuttered under the partial shutdown, they continue to run common systems like payroll using fees from customer agencies. While that situation could change, PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin told NextGov how remaining funds and payments from funded agencies can help keep them afloat as the shutdown drags on. 

1/1/19 -  Here are Concrete Steps for Contractors to Mitigate Shutdown Effects
PSC recommended a number of steps that federal contractors can take to minimize disruption to their business during the government shutdown.

Federal Contractors Hit Hard by Government Shutdown
Many federal workers are hit hard by the government shutdown. PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin tells Good Morning Washington how contractors are also affected.

Shutdown ‘unnerving, frustrating’ for federal contractors
PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin tells WTOP how federal contractors impacted by the partial government shutdown face frustrating uncertainty for both employers and employees. 

12/26/18 - Should Vendors Submit Contract Bids During a Government Shutdown?
PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin discusses how contractors should handle current opportunities in play.

12/22/18 - For government contractors, shutdown makes for an uncertain holiday break
PSC President & CEO David Berteau and EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin tell the Washington Post how a government shutdown over the holidays adds new complications to an already uncertain situation. 

How Government Shutdowns Affect Federal Services and Workers
PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin appeared on KPIXtv to discuss the impact of the government shutdown on federal contractors. 

Shutdown threat gets real
The idea of a government shutdown quickly went from far fetched to far too real. PSC's government shutdown resource center is a good place to start assessing the impact of the partial shutdown and what steps to take if it lasts into January. 

Federal Contractors Need to Prepare for a Long Government Shutdown
PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin tells Nextgov that a shutdown of government operations for any length of time will have a significant effect on the contractor community, especially small businesses.
12/20/18 - Chvotkin: When it Comes to a Government Shutdown, Practice Makes Perfect for Contractors
PSC EVP & Counsel Alan Chvotkin spoke with Federal News Network about lessons learned from past government shutdowns, how a partial shutdown would be different, and PSC's recommendations to agencies for improving shutdown communication and guidance to contractors. 

Click here for previous Government Shutdown news.