Government Shutdown is Making a Mess Out of Our Calendars

Jerry Ashworth
January 9, 2019 at 14:22:35 ET
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‘Tis the season to get can-celled, fa la la la la, la la la ugh! This is the current mantra facing events of interest to grant recipients in light of the partial federal government shutdown.

Many grant applicants are determining how they are going to maintain their projects should the shutdown last an extended amount of time. To make matters worse, some grant-related events that we were looking forward to have already been postponed. For example, the Government Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Governmentwide Policy was in the process of soliciting ideas on a combined single audit and risk management solution that would manage the single audit process; integrate and analyze audit information with award performance, financial and compliance information; and improve risk analysis to inform decisionmaking across the grant award and monitoring process.

GSA was to hold a Virtual Pre-Demonstration Conference yesterday so that interested parties and vendors could hear more about the solution and submit questions. However, the link to the virtual conference earlier this week contained the following notice: “Due to a partial temporary lapse in appropriations, the Grants Single Audit and Risk Management Virtual Pre-Demonstration Conference will be postponed until further notice.”

What is concerning here is that GSA was also planning to host Industry Demonstration Days Jan. 29-31 in Washington, D.C., as an opportunity for vendors to present an explanation and demonstration of their software solution that could meet the needs of the single audit and risk management community. While the registration website for this event is still unchanged as of today, the deadline for registration is Jan. 16, and if the shutdown continues through then, there is a good possibility this event will be postponed as well.

Even trainings for grant stakeholders has been affected. The National Grants Management Association was slated to hold its monthly training session in Chevy Chase, Md. tomorrow, but again, due to the shutdown, this event will be rescheduled. Not only is the shutdown impacting the finances for many folks out there, but it’s also hindering scheduling. And with no end to the shutdown in sight, scheduling future events becomes that much harder.

You’ll be relieved to know that Thompson’s webinar training opportunities have not been affected by the government shutdown, and organizations seeking to learn more about effective grants oversight can still rely on this information. For example, next Tuesday we will present a session on the often-confusing issue of time and effort reporting.

Although the president and Democrats in Congress are digging in on their respective sides of the border wall funding issue, one can only hope that compromise can be reached at some point to get the government back working in a full capacity. We’re getting tired of crossing events off our calendars.

Join us for our following Federal Grants Forums (which are not affected by the government shutdown):

Orlando, Fla., Feb. 25-27, 2019
Seattle, Wash., April 30-May 2, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pa., July-23-25, 2019
Dallas, Texas, Oct. 16-18, 2019

Learn more at http://grants.thompson.com/conferences.aspx.