Update on Government Shutdown- 10 Feb 2019
Dear CIRA Colleagues and Friends,
I thought it would be worthwhile to give you a brief update as we wait to see how the coming week unfolds. While the issues reside upstream of us and are thus outside of our control, we are doing what we can with the help of our NOAA Federal partners to mitigate the potential impacts of a second partial government shutdown during this three-week window. The major items are as follows:
- Thanks to quick work by Jennifer Mahoney and her team on the NOAA Federal side, we have received another substantial increment of funding that covers our Boulder CIRA team, and there is another increment in the works. What this means is that earlier dates of funding spend-out no longer apply. In the very unlikely event of another shutdown of similar or even double the duration occurs, we will be able to ride it out. Other Boulder Lab specific information can be found here: http://www.boulder.doc.gov/cgi-bin/docstatus.cgi
- We learned on 25 January that the Department of Commerce approved a NOAA request to allow blanket verification of all contractor Common Access Cards (CACs) through the end of January.
- Another important item for us, pertaining to CIRA staff in Ft. Collins, Kansas City, and Washington DC, was the set-up of a no-cost-extension (NCE) on our existing Cooperative Agreement (CA), which allows us to continue operation on NOAA funds in-house beyond the end-date of our current CA (which is 30 June, the end of the CSU fiscal year). We have now established this NCE, which now ensures that any carry-overs are not “locked up.”
- We still await word on NOAA’s review of the CIRA re-competition. While this is not an item we are in a position to engage with NOAA on, since we are among the competitors, we have at least reminded our NOAA partners early and often about the urgency of them coming to a decision as soon as possible, such that a new Cooperative Agreement can be established with the recipient and FY19 funding (and any new proposals) can be loaded onto it. For the existing CIRA, this is particularly important, for the sake of ensuring continuity of operations.
- You may be interested in the statement the Colorado Laboratories (CO-LABS) consortium, of which CIRA is a member, put together as a cross section of local impacts: http://co-labs.org/news?id=1172
We will continue to monitor the situation closely. In the meantime, if there are any ‘lessons learned’ in terms of maintaining productivity during the shutdown for those who are forced to conduct business off-site, please let me know and I’ll gather those for a top-ten list. Hopefully we won’t need it! I remain optimistic that the strong bipartisan desire to avoid a second shutdown will lead to some compromise before Friday. Until then, please know that we will be working every angle to buffer the impacts to CIRA. And once again, if there are any special circumstances please do not hesitate to contact me and we will do all we can to accommodate the needs.
Take Care, and Thanks,
Steven D. Miller
Acting CIRA Director