United States Agency for Global Media

Shutdown Guidance

January 26, 2019 – Message from CEO

Dear Colleagues,

On January 25, 2019, the President signed a bill into law authorizing appropriations to continue agency operations.  Accordingly, the January 21, 2019 furlough notice has expired, and you are being recalled to duty.

Under guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, USAGM is commencing an orderly return to normal operations.  In support of this, you are instructed to report for duty on your next regularly scheduled workday, but no later than Monday, January 28, 2019.  You should report to your assigned physical duty station or alternate worksite (pursuant to your USAGM teleworking agreement, if any).  For those employees whose next regularly scheduled workday occurs after Monday, January 28, or for those with extenuating circumstances, like planning for adjustments to child or elder-care situations, supervisors are encouraged to make use of alternative work arrangements and workplace flexibility options.

All employees will be responsible for performing certain critical support functions necessary to reopen the Agency, including completion of timesheets necessary to obtain backpay.

Please send any questions to ShutdownQuestions@usagm.gov.

Sincerely,

 

John F. Lansing

Chief Executive Officer and Director

U.S. Agency for Global Media

___________________________________________

 

January 15, 2019–Message from the CEO

Dear Colleagues,

Unfortunately, the shutdown prevented staff from receiving paychecks last week.  Regrettably, I cannot change that.

But I do want to ensure that all USAGM staff have the information they need to take care of themselves and their families.

That said, we have created a list of resources on the USAGM website.  On this Shutdown Guidance page, you can find links and contact information for the Agency’s Employee Assistance Program, information on Thrift Savings Plan options and OPM resources. Information related to topics such as unemployment insurance, health benefits, and outside employment, as well as many other important resources are available in the FAQ document—also posted on this page.  Moreover, we have just added additional updates on paperwork needed for unemployment and tax filing purposes, including answers to questions we have received about health benefits.

USAGM senior staff will continue to explore options to minimize the impact of the shutdown on the Agency’s excepted operations.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your tireless dedication to this Agency’s vital mission.  I identify with the frustration you may be feeling, and I know how concerned you are right now.  The senior staff and I will continue to send you shutdown information as it becomes available.

Sincerely,

John F. Lansing

Chief Executive Officer and Director

U.S. Agency for Global Media

___________________________________________

January 7, 2019 Message from the CEO

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for the long hours and hard work many of you are putting in during this shutdown so that USAGM may continue to fulfill its important national security mission of providing objective news and information in support of freedom and democracy.  While it is unclear when there will be a resolution to the lapse in appropriations that will allow our agency to fully re-open, you can be assured that I am working with my senior management team to continually assess this situation.

We are aware that the shutdown may unfortunately impact many of our employees in a variety of ways.  For information on agency contacts and external resources that may assist you in addressing issues arising during the shutdown, please see our guidance and FAQs.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website also contains funding lapse information including unemployment insurance resources.  In addition, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all employees who may need support during this challenging period.  Other information will be provided by the Office of Management Services (OMS) as it becomes available.

Further, to the fullest extent of the law, I am authorizing the restoration of use-or-lose annual leave that has been lost because employees were prevented from using their leave as a result of the shutdown.  (Details will be provided by the OMS at a future date, once normal operations resume.)

Our work has never been stronger or more relevant.  I look forward to continuing to work alongside you as we deliver on our mission.

 

Sincerely,

John F. Lansing

Chief Executive Officer and Director

U.S. Agency for Global Media

___________________________________________

The United States Constitution provides that “[n]o money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” U.S. Constitution Article I, § 9, cl.7. The Antideficiency Act (ADA) seeks to ensure proper implementation of this constitutional requirement by prohibiting all officers and employees of the federal government from entering into obligations in advance of an appropriation.

In absence of an appropriation to continue operations, the ADA would prohibit many but not all government functions. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recognize various activities that are excepted from the general prohibition against incurring obligations that would otherwise apply under the ADA (hereinafter, “excepted activities”). In respect of such excepted activities, Agencies may continue to incur obligations during a funding gap.

A continuing resolution has been passed which provides appropriations through February 15, 2019. With enactment of this continuing resolution, the lapse in appropriations has ended and all furloughed federal employees are required to return to work on their next regularly scheduled work day. Additional guidance will be posted here and sent to agency emails.