What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown

The Wall Street JournalWhat to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown

European Pressphoto Agency U.S. Marines march in review during the POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., this month.

Originally published on Sept. 24 and subsequently updated.

As the U.S. nears an Oct. 1 deadline for a partial government shutdown, the Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to prepare contingency plans should a shutdown occur. Here, we tell you what to expect from a partial temporary shutdown, drawing on agencies’ plans and information from the last time the government shut down in 1995 and 1996.

We will update this list as more information becomes available.

How will travel and transportation be affected?

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
An US Airways Airbus A320 airplane takes off from a runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Air traffic control is expected to continue, in addition to airport and airplane safety inspections.  All Federal Highway Administration activities will also continue. Continue reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown”

Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing

Photo: AP Photo/Gervasio Sanchez
By DAVID FRANCIS, The Fiscal Times June 3, 2013

The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate.

According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.

Given the size of the private forces, it’s not surprising that CRS found that in recent years, the Defense Department spent more than any other agency to support contractor work.

“Over the last six fiscal years, DOD obligations for contracts performed in the Iraq and Afghanistan areas of operation were approximately $160 billion and exceeded total contract obligations of any other U.S. federal agency,” CRS found. Continue reading “Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing”