Shutdown Stories: Stop Work at FEMA

Our Shutdown Stories series, which began as a series of public Facebook posts, is focused on providing factual, evidenced based information about the effects of shutting down particular Federal Government agencies. We are moving it here to our corporate blog, in an effort to increase readability and make it easier to share these complex issues. Please feel free to share on the platform of your choosing, with attribution to The War Room Group. 

FEMA Stops Contract Work 

(Originially Published on Facebook 12/28/2018)

(Quick editorial note: It is difficult for me to divorce myself of my own perspective in this situation. So, know this: I don’t support the wall. But also, this really sucks for a lot of people (including me and a lot of people I care about) and they (we) deserve to know that we see that this sucks and we see them. They should feel our love, support, and solidarity while they are caught in the crossfire of a democracy that is correcting itself.)

Yesterday the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a public notice to industry to stop work on all non-exempt contracts.

Not a wind down plan, not a “hey this is coming”. No, this is a public notice that states: “Additionally, the contract non-exempt list is provided and serves as official notice to contractors. If your respective contract(s) is on the list, you are required to immediately stop work. Any work done after receipt of this notice is at your own risk and will not be reimbursed. Do not resume work until provided a written cancellation of a stop work order by a warranted contracting officer. I thank you for your assistance during this funding lapse. Please immediately provide a stop-work order to any and all subcontractors on this Contract.
Lastly, contract invoice payments may be delayed. Contractors will be notified once funding is available and the Government has returned to normal operations. For contracts that are not affected at the onset of the lapse in appropriations, FEMA does not plan to provide any separate notifications or communications of that fact. Unless the contracting officer provides a formal notification to the contrary, all contractors must continue to comply with all terms, conditions, requirements and deliveries specified in their contract(s).”

There are 22 pages of contracts listed in the attachment to this notice. The number of people who were working yesterday and not working today has grown exponentially, the number of small businesses who are now getting paid “maybe soon, maybe not” has jumped as well. These FEMA contracts also cover housing assistance, recovery services, grants, loans, rehab programs, and all sorts of things that do good for people who need it. They have stopped work.