The longest government shutdown in US history ended early this year. But the repercussions from the shutdown are still being felt among contractors to the US government.
All contractors lost money and some lost optional extensions on their contracts. Other contractors teetered on bankruptcy when their employees could not be redeployed to other work, and many employees lost substantial leave hours when they were forced to use their vacation time.
Nicole Ogrysko filed this report on the effects of the government shutdown for the Federal News Network:
The House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee on Monday heard stories from nearly a dozen federal contractors, who described how the 35-day government shutdown impacted their businesses and employees. Contractors largely said the most recent lapse was marked by tough decisions, confusion and a lack of communication and inconsistent guidance from the government.
A few contractors used words such as “abominable, insanity and uncertainty” to describe the experience. But all of them said the impacts of the recent shutdown extended well past 35 days.
For Leidos, a Fortune 500 company, 893 of its employees had no or limited work to perform during the government shutdown, because they were on contracts for closed agencies, CEO Roger Krone told the subcommittee.
The company lost $14 million in revenue during those 35 days and experienced a delay in payments on outstanding invoices, which totaled about $18 million. Leidos’ work on 22 programs came to a halt during the government shutdown, which impacted about 200 of its subcontractors, Krone said.
It also allowed those employees to advance paid leave hours up to a balance of negative 80 hours. Nearly 400 Leidos employees used up all of their vacation time and then some. “It will take them years to build back that base of paid time off that they had prior to the shutdown,” Krone said during the subcommittee’s field hearing at George Mason University.