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Government Shutdown Procedures

December 15, 2011       

To All Federal Agencies:

What will happen to the Federal Register if there is a government shutdown? The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) published a notice to give guidance to agency customers and the public in the Friday, March 4, 2011 issue, 76 FR 12135.

Our March 4th notice states that in the event of an appropriations lapse, we would be required to publish documents directly related to the performance of governmental functions necessary to address imminent threats to the safety of human life or protection of property. Because we cannot make determinations as to whether certain documents are directly related to activities that qualify for an exemption under the Antideficiency Act, agencies must certify that their documents relate to emergency activities authorized under the Act.

Agencies wishing to submit a document to the OFR during a funding hiatus must attach a special handling letter to the document which states that publication in the Federal Register is necessary to safeguard human life, protect property, or provide other emergency services consistent with the performance of functions and services exempted under the Antideficiency Act.

  • Documents related to normal or routine activities of Federal agencies will not be published.

At the onset of a funding hiatus, the OFR may suspend the regular three-day publication schedule to permit a limited number of excepted personnel to process emergency documents. Agency officials will be informed as to the schedule for filing and publishing individual documents.

For questions related to this bulletin, contact our Legal Affairs and Policy Staff at 202-741-6030.

Thank you.

Michael L. White, Acting Director
Office of the Federal Register