Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is Silly |

Feds could be fined for working during a shutdown 

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According to the Antideficiency Act, if a furloughed federal employee works during a shutdown, they could be in a heap of trouble.

Granted, that's not the formal language for it. That looks more like this:

An officer or employee who violates 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a) (obligate/expend in excess or advance of appropriation), section 1342 (voluntary services prohibition), or section 1517(a) (obligate/expend in excess of an apportionment or administrative subdivision as specified in an agency's regulation) "shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office." 31 U.S.C. §§ 1349(a), 1518.

In addition, an officer or employee who "knowingly and willfully" violates any of the three provisions cited above "shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both." 31 U.S.C. §§ 1350, 1519.

"In fact," said Tony Scardino, Chief Financial Officer at the Patent and Trademark Office, "our head of IT, our chief information officer was telling us it's actually illegal for you to check your BlackBerry if you're on a government shutdown. There's a $5,000 dollar sanction, up to two years in prison... I mean none of that's going to happen, but the point is it's literally on the books that says it's illegal for you to work if you're in a government shutdown."

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