FCC Issues Shutdown Plans ... Just In Case
September 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM (PT)
The FCC has issued its plans for an orderly suspension of operations in the event of a federal government shutdown. The immediate threat of a shutdown next week due to a dispute among House Republicans may have eased due to TODAY's announcement of Speaker of the House JOHN BOEHNER's resignation, but the battle over the federal budget may lead to a shutdown in DECEMBER.
The effect of a shutdown, the FCC said, is that "all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease. Suspended activities include, among many others: Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided."
The plan would have all Commission employees report to work the first business day after appropriations run out for four hours to conduct the orderly shutdown of operations. About 1,700 employees will be affected; up to five whose pay is not derived from the appropriations, including the FCC Chairman and four Commissioners, will remain on duty, as will 120 others whose appropriations, and duties, will expire on OCTOBER 1st. Thirteen others will remain on duty "to protect life and property," working around the clock in shifts. Additional employees will be retained for critical operations, about 10% of the total staff; the rest will be furloughed and sent home.