Despite Shutdown, FCC Continues Some Essential Operations

While the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suspended most operations as of mid-day January 3rd, about 18 percent of the agency’s workforce is still on the job.

The latest version of the agency’s “Plan for Orderly Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations” indicates that 262 of the FCC’s approximately 1437 employees are continuing to perform certain FCC-directed functions, despite the absence of funding. The largest portion of that number, about 164 employees focused on spectrum auction-related activities, remain on the job because their salaries and related expenses are not funded under the agency’s annual appropriations. An additional 20 or so employees are being retained for critical oversight functions, such as interference detection, mitigation and disaster response operations and to help ensure the protection of life and property.

Certain FCC contractors are also continuing to work through the shutdown. These include dozens of contractors dedicated to providing 24/7 monitoring and support of the FCC’s IT infrastructure, as well as 45 security guards and personnel charged with protecting FCC facilities.

Finally, the FCC Chairman and the three FCC Commissioners remain on the payroll, “because they are Presidential appointees and not subject to furlough.”

Read the text of the FCC’s “Plan for Orderly Shutdown.”

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