Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

Federal Register Bulletin Newsletter December 2018

Federal Register Bulletin, The Newsletter of the Office of the Federal Register
December 21, 2018

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. 83 FR 63540 December 10, 2018.

Our 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 exception 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. We have created a letter template for agencies to use.

  • Documents related to normal or routine activities of Federal agencies will not be published.
  • For more information, visit our FAQ page on the shutdown

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 document.

For questions related to this bulletin, contact our Legal Affairs and Policy Staff at

Thank you.

Oliver A. Potts, Director
Office of the Federal Register