For my part, I arrived to find a rather urgent matter that I prepared for briefing DC and passed it on, only to have it apparently lost in the shutdown preparations - how much time and money has already been wasted and will continue to be wasted! Something is certainly wrong here. Well, enough of my woes. Here's the latest (redacted) shutdown info:
To: All Solicitor’s Office Employees
Date: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Subject: Guidance Concerning Efforts To Plan For A Potential Lapse In Appropriations
A set of human resources questions and answers can be found onhttp://www.doi.gov/shutdown
· Accessing your email.· Reading your furlough notice and affirming to your supervisor that you did receive it.· Changing your voicemail message to indicate you will be out of the office for an unspecified time.· Changing and enabling your email “out of office” message.· Securing your work documents appropriately.· Completing your time card.· Securing your work station and securing government property.
· For employees who are not exempt or excepted and would be furloughed – record the balance of the pay period, , against the Furlough pay code ______. Employees should keep track of hours spent on shutdown activities. Amended time sheets will be completed after operations resume.· For excepted employees who will remain on duty to protect life and property - record the balance of the pay period, , against the Furlough pay code ______. Excepted employees should keep track of their time outside of the system.· For employees who are exempt and will continue to work because they are paid from non-lapsing appropriations – report all hours worked as you normally would.
· Exempt employees who are funded through non-lapsing appropriations may travel with the appropriate approvals from their supervisor.· Excepted employees who need to travel to protect life and property should do so with the approval of their supervisor. If there is a shutdown, please check with your supervisor to find out if you should immediately return to your duty station or remain in travel status.· Employees who would be furloughed and are on travel when the shutdown occurs, must return to their duty station as soon as possible.· Employees assigned overseas are not considered to be in travel status because their overseas location is considered their permanent station.· Employees on extended TDY travel where a detail personnel action (SF52) was issued and funded should not return to their home location unless instructed by their supervisor.
· Meet with your supervisor to obtain additional necessary details and guidelines about shutdown procedures.· Provide information about where your supervisor can reach you in the event the government reopens – home phone, personal cell phone, relative phone, etc.· Access your email and read your furlough notice and affirm to your supervisor that you have received it. Instructions can be found at http://googl/tN1PRt.· Change your voicemail message. Suggested language for employee voicemail:“I am out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown. I will not be checking messages, but will return your call upon my return to the office.”· Change and enable your email “out of office” message. Suggested message:“I am out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown. I will not be checking messages, but will return your email upon my return to the office.”· Secure your work documents appropriately so they are not left out in the open.· Turn off and put away devices, phones, laptops, etc. for safekeeping.· Throw out any perishable food.· Remove or store any personal items for safekeeping.· Complete your time card· Turn off the lights and lock the door when you leave (presuming there are no other occupants in the office).
In the unlikely event that anyone has read this far, these emails caused a little confusion as it seemed to contradict earlier memos that said we could not be in telework status for the close-out. Most of my office including me, are approved for telework and we do it on a sporadic basis when work allows for it (like reading and editing a draft EIS - yuck). I find work usually allows for it on snow days. Anyway, I asked our acting boss if I could get all "secure" and then do my furlough notice acceptance through email by teleworking my 15 minutes tomorrow morning. He thought that would be fine. Then he had to participate in a managers' telecon and that option was nixed except for those approved to telework from far distant stations.
Yes, there's a lot of bureaucracy involved in shutting down the bureaucracy.
Sen. Lee's Munchkins (Update No. 4.5)