US gov't shutdown could take money from IT workers, contracts
Congress and the Obama administration have until Tuesday to work out a compromise to keep the government open
IDG News Service - A looming U.S. government shutdown could mean smaller paychecks for some government IT workers and contractors, as well as renegotiated contracts for some IT vendors.
The possible shutdown is scheduled to happen next Tuesday unless President Obama and congressional leaders can agree on a continuing budget resolution to keep agencies open. Many congressional Republicans want to cut funding for the huge health-care program known as Obamacare and approved in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, in exchange for passing a government funding bill, but Obama has refused to negotiate.
With little time for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, some IT workers should prepare to be furloughed, said Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president for global public sector government affairs at TechAmerica, a large tech trade group. Many government IT systems will continue to run during a shutdown, and systems administrators will likely need to continue to work, but some IT workers, such as desktop support staff, may have an unpaid vacation during a shutdown, he said.
IT workers who install new desktops won't be needed if there aren't many workers on the job, he said. "Those things can probably wait for a week" until the issues surrounding a shutdown are resolved, Hodgkins said.
At the same time, government IT hiring has been down since March, when new budget cuts went into effect, according to Computerworld.
Some government IT contracts may also take a hit, he added. Some agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, have sent messages to IT contractors saying they will likely seek amendments to contracts during a shutdown because the contract work won't be needed, Hodgkins said.
The shutdown should have little effect on new government contracts, but it's likely that Congress will cap new contracts in any continuing budget resolution that's passed, he said. Recent continuing resolutions have typically capped IT contracts at the previous year's level, meaning funding for new contracts will be difficult to find, Hodgkins said.
IT contractors need to work hard to drum up business during this time of lean budgets, added Donna Council, vice president of government with SmartProcure, which operates a national database of government purchasing history.
"During a government shutdown, or even when there is simply a looming possibility, you can expect a great deal of soul-searching regarding all existing contracts, not just IT," she said in an email. "This is a time for hungry IT contractors to contact new potential government clients, and it's also a time for those with current contracts to make sure they are providing the best possible value."
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is email@example.com.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- Vblock™ Specialized System for SAP HANA® Overview video from DJ Long about the new Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA®.
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.