Federal Register
Federal Register Bulletin, The Newsletter of the Office of the Federal Register

September 30, 2013

What will happen to the Federal Register if there is a government shutdown?

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 Monday, September 30th issue issue, 78 FR 59974.

Our September 30th 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 submit a letter certifying 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  • Documents related to normal or routine activities of Federal agencies will not be published.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 exempt personnel to process emergency documents. Agency officials will be informed as to the schedule for filing and publishing individual documents.

Because OFR does not normally receive USPS deliveries at our location, we cannot guarantee that we will receive any documents sent via USPS, at least not in a timely fashion. Commercial delivery and messenger services will continue to have direct access to our office.

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

Thank you.

Charley Barth, Director
Office of the Federal Register

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